A South Orange-Maplewood high school teacher has been accused by a former student of sexual assault. The student has filed a civil lawsuit charging the district and the school board as a “passive abusers,” abdicating its role as an ad hoc parental supervisor and stating “it should have known” about the teacher’s behavior.
The teacher, Nicole Dufault, admitted in January that she sexually abused students. In March she was sentenced to a three-year prison term but served no time. According to the Associated Press, she said that a prior brain surgery inhibited her impulse control.
And according to the Record,
The plaintiff alleges he was among a group of students who were regularly permitted to skip class and gather in Dufault’s classroom. Dufault used her faculty access to the district computer system to hide the students’ truancy, according to a copy of the complaint.
During the school periods when he and others met in Dufault’s classroom, she would repeatedly speak to the students “about lewd and sexual actions” and touched “intimate parts of their bodies” in front of the group, the suit claims.
Furthermore, the plaintiff accuses Dufault of encouraging him “to participate in sexual intercourse” and performing oral sex on him while another student captured the alleged offense on video.
Dufault was a teacher at Columbia High School for nine years.