MONTCLAIR, NJ - An elementary school custodian in Montclair has been arrested and charged with sexual assault against a minor, officials confirmed.
On Friday, January 24, Stephen Yekel, 47, was arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to published reports. He is currently listed as the Chief Custodian at Northeast Elementery School. In his mugshot, he can be seen wearing his Montclair Public Schools shirt.
According to Katherine Carer of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, Yekel allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the female victim beginning when she was 14 until she was 16-years-old. The incidents are alleged to have taken place on several dates and locations.
Interim Superintendent Nathan Parker sent a letter to Northeast parents informing them that the victim was not from Montclair. Parker wrote:
“In consultation with the Montclair Police Department, I can provide you with the following information. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation, which involved a Northeast School employee. The alleged victim has no connection to Montclair Public Schools. There are no other Montclair Public Schools students or staff involved in this investigation. At no time were any Montclair Public Schools students or staff in any danger.”
Yekel is currently being held in custody at the Essex County Correctional Facility. A hearing is set to take place on Monday, Feb. 3, in Essex County Superior Court.