Nicole Dufault, NJ teacher who raped students, has 3 new accusers
ESSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey high school teacher, who had once blamed brain surgery for sexually abusing students, now has three new accusers. As per the latest reports, Nicole Dufault is currently facing allegations from three new accusers that she showered them with gifts, modified their grades for their better and cleared truancy records for sexual favors. The multiple complainants have demanded $50 million each.
In 2020, Dufault reportedly pleaded guilty to criminal charges. In March, she was handed a suspended three-year jail sentence after it was found that she had groomed a pupil. Now, according to a report carried in NorthJersey.com, Dufault and the South Orange-Maplewood School District were hit with three fresh lawsuits in the Essex County Superior Court. One of them is from a former student who claims that he was sexually abused more than 200 times.
As per the latest reports, two of the suits were filed earlier this month. Another one that was reportedly made public on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, detailed the abuse that initiated the criminal probe into Dufault that eventually lead to her 2014 arrest on 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
As per reports, a video that depicted the former language arts teacher at Columbia High School in Maplewood and divorced mother of two orally raping a student started spreading on social media at the time. Attorneys for the accusers started blaming the school district for not doing enough to prevent that from happening in the first place.
"She was just out of control with her behavior," said John Baldante, the lawyer representing the victims in the new suits, told the publication. Baldante added that Dufault's actions were so obvious that it's difficult to understand how school administrators didn’t know about them. "The question here is, what did the school know directly or what should they have known?"
Nine years of abuse
As per the reports, Dufault allegedly told one victim that she’d been sexually abusing her students as long as she worked for the school, a total of nine years, one of the new suits allege.
Records obtained by the publication reveal that former student claims that he was in eighth grade when he first started hearing about 'a Columbia teacher who had sex with students, helped them cut class and took them out in her car for illicit lunches, among other favors'.
The student got to the school in the summer of 2013 when he was 14 and was attending a program for kids with learning disabilities. It was then that he experienced Dufault’s abuse, the suit claims. Additionally, the suit claims that when his freshman year began that fall, Dufault’s abuse escalated from molestation to rape and the lawsuit alleges that he was "hand-picked" to be in her class.
The suit claims that soon afterward, she started showering him with cash and other gifts. These presents included a brand new pair of expensive sneakers, which he told her was "one of the best gifts he had ever received," the suit claims.
"Nicole Dufault then informed [him] what he needed to do for her, saying, ‘I want you to take me right here and now.'" The teacher raped the student and proceeded to abuse him on more than 200 occasions, according to the suit.
The suit sees the kid further claiming that Dufault manipulated the school’s computer system to wipe out truancy records of those students who cut class to be with her. She allegedly also changed his grades in classes he wasn’t doing well. These are exactly the aforementioned 'obvious' moves that Baldante said should’ve set off alarms with administrators.
Learning disabilities program
Another victim who filed the suit said the abuse first started in 2011 when he was 14 during the same summer program for kids with learning disabilities. The outlet reported that the grooming "escalated" during his junior year when Dufault sent him explicit text messages and nude pictures. The suit states that the next day, Dufault and the kid went to a parking lot together and the teacher orally raped him in her car.
The third victim repped by Baldante reportedly made similar allegations and added that Dufault raped him at least eight or nine times. Last Janauary, Dufault pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact. Each victim is seeking $50 million in damages.