According to ABC 6, a teacher's aide in Burlington County, New Jersey has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The teacher was accused of having a sexual relationship with a male student at Riverside High School located at 112 E Washington St, Riverside, NJ 08075.
Michelle Jacoby, 27, from Riverside, was a special education teacher and the Riverside High School marching band director. The investigation began after a male student revealed his relationship with Jacoby to another teacher. It is believed the relationship occurred over a two-year period, beginning when the student was a freshman, and consisted of multiple encounters that commonly occurred at Jacoby's home. Jacoby was arrested on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, and released on Wednesday following a court appearance.
Riverside Superintendent Michael Adams said that Jacoby has been suspended and that the safety of students and staff was paramount. He also stated that there was no current safety concern for staff or students. The Burlington Township Prosecutor's Office and the Delanco Township Police Department are still investigating the case.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent, an attorney committed to helping sex abuse victims and their families get justice through civil lawsuits, recently answered the question: "Can I sue for being sexually assaulted by a high school teacher?" As an experienced school sexual abuse lawyer in New Jersey, Brian shared his insight.
"As an attorney dedicated to advocating for victims of sexual assault, I have seen far too many cases where a student has been groomed and abused by a trusted high school teacher. The psychological and emotional damage inflicted on these students is heartbreaking and can have long-lasting effects.
It is important to note that schools have a legal duty to provide their students with a safe learning environment. This includes conducting background checks on all staff, security cameras monitoring the campus, and a reporting system. When a school is aware of or suspects a teacher's inappropriate conduct and fails to take the necessary steps to protect the student, it may be held liable for the damages suffered by the student.
Victims of sexual abuse by a teacher also have legal rights available to them. They may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against both the teacher and the school district for damages resulting from the abuse. Victims and their families should seek guidance from an experienced school sex abuse attorney to help them get the compensation they deserve."