A married New Jersey English teacher was indicted Wednesday on charges that she engaged in improper relationships with three of her male students, including having an alleged sexual relationship with one of them.
Nicole McDonough, 32, of Mount Olive, was arrested December 30 on suspicion of having sex with an 18-year-old student while employed as a teacher at Mendham High School.
However a subsequent investigation now sees her facing three charges of official misconduct, with prosecutors saying McDonough engaged in improper ‘communication’ and ‘fraternization’ with two other male students, who were also 18.
Prosecutors did not elaborate on the kind of fraternizing the mother-of-two allegedly took part in.
According to The Daily Record, the alleged sexual relationship occurred in April, May, and June of 2013.
The relationships with the other two students then allegedly occurred in April, May, and June of 2014.
Additionally, NJ.com have reported that McDonough does not face any sex charges because all three alleged victims were 18.
The prosecution made it clear they believe she was only sexual with one of the boys.
The indictment outlined that McDonough committed second-degree official misconduct because she ‘did commit acts relating to her office, but constitutionally unauthorized exercises of her official functions’.
McDonough did so ‘with the purpose to obtain a benefit for herself, specifically emotional, mental and/or physical sexual gratification’, the indictment said.
Timothy Smith, McDonough’s attorney, said Friday he would seek to have the indictment dismissed and called it a ‘rogue prosecution’ that incorrectly applies official misconduct laws.
Official misconduct is punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison with a minimum of five years to be served before parole consideration.
According to NJ.com, McDonough ‘teaches honors and International Baccalaureate-level English courses at the high school’ and ‘holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the College of St. Elizabeth.’
Describing herself on the school’s website she writes; ‘Although teaching is one of my many passions, I am also a mom, a personal trainer, and a cross-fitter.
I am a mother of two amazing girls. We also have a puggle named Tegan.’
She closes by saying; ‘The classroom is one of my many loves and I am excited to return to start a full year of school!’
Authorities have not released any of the student’s names.