NJ Teacher Charged With Attempted Sex Assault Hours After Hiring

Richard D'Amato Jr. of Bayonne is charged with two counts of attempted sexual assault of a minor, two counts of attempted lewdness to a minor and child endangerment.

Thursday, Feb 9, 2012  |  Updated 11:00 AM EDT
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Newly Hired NJ Teacher Accused of Sexual Online Chats

West Rock

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Hours after he was hired, authorities accused a New Jersey teacher of engaging in explicit online chat with a law enforcement officer who posed as a 12-year-old girl.      

Richard D'Amato Jr. of Bayonne is charged with two counts of attempted sexual assault of a minor, two counts of attempted lewdness to a minor and child endangerment.      

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik tells The Record newspaper the 24-year-old engaged in chats with the officer and exposed himself by webcam on several occasions.      

Berdnik says D'Amato told investigators he had signed a contract to teach at Rutherford High School just before his arrest Wednesday.      

The teacher has been ordered held on $75,000 bail.

It's not clear whether he has a lawyer.

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