BAD TEACHER #1
A US teacher sexually assaulted six students aged 14 and 15 for more than a year.
Nicole DuFault, 35, had sex with them at school and in her car, in 2013 and 2014, reported NY Daily News.
In one incident, the single mother of two young children performed oral sex on one of the boys while another victim was nearby, according to prosecutors.
The former Columbia High School teacher has been charged with 40 counts of aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
She was arrested last September and originally charged with having sex with three students. But two more victims were discovered shortly after and a grand jury, which indicted the teacher, found a sixth.
DuFault had spent nine years as a language arts teacher at Columbia High before her arrest.
Despite video evidence, which DuFault's lawyer admitted he had yet to see, her defence team may focus on the teen boys as the aggressors.
"If the video depicts certain things happening, that doesn't mean that my client's not innocent," attorney Timothy Smith told news website NJ.com.
"People are victimised by juveniles all the time."
He claimed that DuFault's "brain trauma and surgery" rendered her vulnerable to the students.
"I feel confident in stating and firmly believe in my heart that there is only one victim, not six, and that victim is DuFault," Mr Smith said.
"If justice is served, not only should DuFault be fully exonerated, she should also be compensated by those directly and indirectly responsible for her tragic victimisation."
In response to Mr Smith's comments, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office provided the following response:
"Sadly, victims of sexual abuse have traditionally been demonised by their abusers. It takes an extraordinary amount of courage for a victim - especially a juvenile victim - to come forward, knowing the unfortunate stigma that some in society place upon victims of sexual abuse.
"We eagerly await an opportunity for this matter to be resolved in court."
DuFault is free on US$500,000 (S$680,000) bail and is scheduled to appear in court on March 6.
This article was first published on February 23, 2015.
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