West Orange Teacher Pleads Guilty to Child Endangerment

The Montclair resident and West Orange teacher charged last fall has now pleaded guilty.

Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that West Orange High School teacher Erica DePalo, 33, of Montclair pleaded guilty to third degree endangering the welfare of a 15 year-old male student in her English class.

Assistant Prosecutor Tony Gutierrez, who handled the case, said DePalo and the victim had sexual relations between June and August of 2012. The victim visited DePalo at her apartment during that time and the two had sexual relations on more than one occasion.

“This is a just resolution of the case because it frees the victim from having to testify in open court,” said Gutierrez. “The victim’s family is also relieved that their son can now move forward.”

DePalo is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29, 2013 before the Honorable Peter V. Ryan.

The defendant is expected to be given a 3-year suspended sentence with lifelong parole supervision. She may apply for relief from parole supervision after 15 years.

DePalo will also be registered as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. She must also forfeit her teaching license and must permanently forgo seeking work as a public employee.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Tragic see such a promising career cut short. Amazing to see it buried here while being covered in the national media. Leno is busy making punchlines from the “fact” that she supposedly was teaching in an honors program. Wonder why our award winning local media has yet to follow up.

  2. Tragic see such a promising career cut short. Amazing to see it buried here while being covered in the national media. Leno is busy making punchlines from the “fact” that she supposedly was teaching in an honors program. Wonder why our award winning local media has yet to follow up.

  3. geoff gove, I don’t think using Jay Leno as an example and pointing out that he is “joking” about it speaks well for any national coverage. As a teacher, I don’t find anything funny about any of it.

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