August 31, 2012 at 10:01 PM
WEST ORANGE, NJ - As first reported by The Alternative Press of West Orange, West Orange High School English teacher and former Essex County Teacher of the Year, Erica DePalo, is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with a West Orange student. Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and West Orange Police Chief James P. Abbott announced a few minutes ago that DePalo, 33, of Montclair, was charged today with having an illegal sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student she taught in her Honors English class.
The Prosecutor's Office told The Alternative Press of West Orange that the arrest warrant charges Depalo with first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
West Orange Police Detective Louis Mignone stated that it is alleged that DePalo, who in addition to teaching English is also the Junior Varsity tennis coach, began a sexual relationship with a male student on or about June 15, when the alleged victim was 15 years old. The relationship reportedly ended on August 28th.
Tonight the Honorable Martin G. Cronin, Judge of the Superior Court, signed an arrest warrant for DePalo. Bail was set at $100,000 by Judge Cronin.
Editor's Note: These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.