SOUTH ORANGE/MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A female teacher at Columbia High School has been charged with aggravated sexual assault, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Maplewood Police Chief Robert J. Cimino announced on Thursday.  

Nicole Dufault, 34, of Caldwell, was arrested Wednesday night at her home and charged with sexually assaulting three students. She was charged yesterday with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

All of the victims were 15-year-old boys attending Columbia High School. The incidents occurred during the regular school year and also during summer school in 2013 and 2014.

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Dufault is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark on $500,000 bail. She has been ordered to have no contact with any of the victims. Dufault has two minor children who have been removed from her custody.

A Language Arts teacher who has been employed at Columbia for the last nine years, Dufault is accused of having sexual contact with the students on school property and in her car on multiple occasions.

The investigation, which is active and ongoing, was conducted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Maplewood Police Department. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at 973-753-1130.

Counseling and other assistance will be available to students through the South Orange/Maplewood School district.  

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.