A former Jersey City charter school teacher who admitted having sex with an eighth-grade girl at what was then her Lyndhurst home must serve at least four years and three months in state prison before she’ll be eligible for parole.
Lauren Coyle-Mitchell, 36, was sentenced last Friday to a plea-bargained five years in state prison, 85% of which she must serve before being eligible for parole with lifetime supervision.
Coyle-Mitchell also must register as a Megan’s Law offender, can never hold a teaching or government job again and is permanently prohibited from any contact with the victim.
The state Board of Examiners, the state’s teacher licensing agency, revoked Coyle-Mitchell’s license to teach elementary school and students with disabilities in April, three months after she pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault (statutory rape) and child endangerment.
Coyle-Mitchell admitted exchanging oral sex with the 15-year-old from Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School, where she taught second grade.
She conceded during her Jan. 6 plea hearing in Hackensack that the behavior – which began with an exchange of explicit texts -- was “emotionally and morally damaging” to the girl.
The age of consent in New Jersey is 16, although it's raised to 18 when the partner has some authority over the victim.
Coyle-Mitchell initially became a suspect after several teachers at the charter school went to authorities after they “observed what they believed was inappropriate interactions” between her and the eighth-grader, authorities said at the time.
She was re-arrested after she tried to call and text teen, in violation of a no-contact order, following her release from jail after the initial arrest, they said.
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