NEW BRUNSWICK - A Plainsboro man and tenured English teacher at Hillsboro High School was being held in the Middlesex County jail today on charges of having improper contact with a 17-year-old student that occurred over a period of five months, authorities said today.

Kenneth Shindle, 27, is charged with one count of engaging in sexual conduct that would impair or debauch the morals of the child, and one count of causing harm to the child that would make her an abused or neglected child, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement.

He said Shindle also faces two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

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The arrest came after police responded to a possible dispute on the front lawn of Shindle’s home involving the teacher and student, Carey said.

He did not say when the reported dispute occurred.

He said the police response resulted in Plainsboro Detective Timothy McMahon and prosecutor’s office Detective Mark Morris opening an investigation.

The detectives discovered that from Jan. 1 through May 7 of this year, Shindle allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with the female student, including the student’s unsupervised visits to his home, Carey said.

Shindle, who has taught at Hillsborough High School for five years, is currently suspended from his job, the prosecutor said.

He said Shindle is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick pending an initial court appearance on June 6.

Police are still investigating the case and ask that anyone with information call McMahon at (609) 799-2333 or Morris at (732) 745-4194.

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum 10-year sentence upon conviction.

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