Nicole DuFault, 35, was indicted by a grand jury on 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault including six male students under the age of 16 at the time the alleged sex crime was committed. Nicole DuFault’s indictment was made public in a press release by Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray on Tuesday, reports NJ.com on Feb. 18.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the 35-year-old language arts teacher is accused of having engaged in sexual activity – including sexual intercourse and oral sex – with six male students at Columbia High School in New Jersey on multiple occasions between 2013 and 2014.
The six male students were at the age of 14 and 15 at the time and the incidents allegedly took place in the teacher’s car and the school’s campus in Maplewood, N.J.
The evidence in the sexual assault case includes a video showing the teacher performing oral sex on one of her students while another student is present. Further evidence includes a piece of clothing that was seen in the video and was found during a search of the teacher’s apartment.
During a Sept. 16, 2014, hearing, DuFault’s attorney, Timothy Smith, argued that videos do not always show the whole truth and that in this case, his client might actually be a victim.
“If the video depicts certain things happening…that doesn’t mean that my client’s not innocent,” said Smith, adding that “for example, she could be the victim.”
However, Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Gina Iosim emphasized during the September hearing that there were two prior complaints filed against the teacher at Columbia High School for “lack of professionalism and her conduct.” One of the complaints stated that the language arts teacher was having “inappropriate sexual conversations in the classroom.”
DuFault had been a language arts teacher at Columbia High School for nine years until she was arrested at her home last September. She is the mother two boys, “ages 2 and 4.” Her two boys are now in state custody. Her husband has moved out.
The former teacher was released from custody in October after posting $500,000 bail. Her indictment, which was made public on Tuesday by the prosecutor’s office, includes 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Nicole DuFault’s appearance before Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin is scheduled for March 6.
According to a Sept. 18, 2014, report, this is the second case in which a Columbia High School teacher has been accused of sexual assault for having sex with a student.
“In 2006, Nelson Trias, an English teacher at the school, was sentenced to three years in state prison on an official misconduct charge for having sex with a 16-year-old student in his classroom in June 2005.Trias had pleaded guilty to the charge, and the sexual assault and other remaining charges were dismissed.”
Unlike Trias, 35-year-old DuFault is facing 12 separate charges for allegedly having had sexual activities with male students who were under the age of 16. Even more damaging than the video evidence are the statements provided by at least five of the victims who described their detailed sexual encounters with teacher Nicole DuFault.