New Jersey

New Jersey High School Teacher Accused of Sexually Assaulting 3 Students: Prosecutor

A northern New Jersey high school teacher has been accused of sexually assaulting three 15-year-old male students, authorities say.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray said Thursday that 34-year-old Nicole Dufault, of Caldwell, was arrested Wednesday night for the alleged assaults inside Columbia High School in Maplewood and in her car since last year. The students were allegedly assaulted during the summer months and the school year, authorities said.

She was being held on $500,000 bail at the Essex County Correctional Facility and police say they removed two children from her custody.

It wasn't immediately clear if Dufault had an attorney.

Some parents went to the school Thursday night in search of information.

"We need to know what happened, when it happened and why it happened," said one mother who did not want to give her name. She said when she called the high school for answers, the person who picked up hung up on her. 

"That's not acceptable," she said. 

No one answered Dufault's home door Thursday, but a neighbor said she saw the mother of two young boys being taken away in handcuffs and is shocked by the accusation.

"I feel for the family," the neighbor said. 

Prosecutors say Dufault is a language arts teacher and has worked at the school for nine years.

The school was offering counseling and other assistance.

Follow Ida Siegal on Twitter @idasiegal4NY

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