Former NJ "Teacher of the Year" Sentenced for Sex With Student | NBC New York

Former NJ "Teacher of the Year" Sentenced for Sex With Student



    (Published Monday, April 29, 2013)

    A former New Jersey teacher of the year won't serve any prison time after admitting she had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student.

    A state Superior Court judge in Newark sentenced 33-year-old Erica DePalo to lifetime parole supervision. She also will have to forfeit her teaching certificate and register as a sex offender.

    A tearful DePalo made a brief statement in court Monday expressing regret for her actions, and saying she is trying to rebuild her life. She pleaded guilty in February to child endangerment.

    Prosecutors say the Montclair resident had a brief sexual relationship with a student in her honors English class at West Orange High School. She initially was charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment and could have faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

    Her attorney, Anthony Alfano, said DePalo suffers from bipolar disorder and was on bad medication that can cause errors in judgment.

    --Jen Maxfield contributed to this story

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