Carolyn A. Murray, Acting Essex County Prosecutor
Released: 8/31/2012

West Orange Teacher Charged with Illegal Sex with Student

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and West Orange Police Chief James P. Abbott announced today that West Orange school teacher Erica Depalo, 33, of Montclair was charged today with having an illegal sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student she taught in her Honor's English class.

The arrest warrant charges Depalo with first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to West Orange Police Detective Louis Mignone, it is alleged that Depalo, who in addition to teaching English is also the Junior Varsity tennis coach, began a sexual relationship with a male student on or about June 15. At the time, the victim was 15 years old. The relationship continued until August 28.

Tonight the Honorable Martin G. Cronin, Judge of the Superior Court, signed an arrest warrant for Depalo. Bail was set at $100,000 by Judge Cronin.

These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.

Contact: Katherine Carter, Press Agent (973) 621-4021

Essex County Prosecutor's Office (973) 621-4700

Essex County Veterans Courthouse, Newark, NJ 07102