Jury selection for her trial was under way when a former teacher in Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties admitted having sexual encounters with male students in Maplewood, authorities said.
In exchange for her guilty plea to three counts of aggravated criminal sexual contact, Nicole Dufault, 40, of Bloomfield, will be sentenced to five years in state prison, among other penalties.
Authorities arrested the divorced mother of two in September 2014 on charges of aggravated sexual assault against several students at Columbia High School, where she’d been a language arts teacher for nine years.
The encounters, which occurred on school property and in her car in 2013 and 2014, came to light after another student shared a cellphone video of one of the victims getting oral sex from Dufault, authorities alleged.
No incidents were reported at any of the three previous schools where Dufault had taught: Hawthorne High School, Passaic Valley Regional High School in Little Falls and Ridgefield Park Jr/Sr High School.
Dufault cannot hold another publicly funded job in New Jersey, must surrender her teaching licenses and has to register as a Megan’s Law sex offender under the terms of her deal with prosecutors.
She also must remain on lifetime parole supervision after she’s released.
“We believe this is an appropriate resolution,” Assistant Prosecutor Eric Plant said Thursday. “We hope that it will deter other individuals entrusted with the welfare of children from engaging in similar acts and ensures the public’s safety by requiring Ms. Dufault to register as a sex offender and forfeit her employment as a teacher in this state.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.