NJ educator raped students during school and in homes, prosecutor says
BRIDGETON — A head teacher at a city school has been charged with raping two middle school students in the school building.
Isais Garza, 50, of Vineland, was charged Thursday, with multiple counts of first-degree aggravated assault and second-degree sexual assault as well as second-degree official misconduct and witness tampering.
Garza has been the head teacher at Bridgeton's ExCEL program since 2001.
Authorities say Garza raped the two students between 2004 and 2008, starting when they were younger than 13 years old.
Garza is accused of orally and anally raping the students on numerous occasions at the Washington Street school building.
The abuse extended after school, police said.
The criminal complaint said Garza had a boy at his home and made him touch the man's penis on one occasion and orally raped him numerous other times. He also orally raped one of the victims at the child's own home, police said.
Prosecutors say Garza later tried to cover up his crimes by offering one of the victims, now an adult, money to lie to investigators about the sexual abuse. Prosecutors say Garza contacted the victim by phone and spoke to him at his job.
New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Garza had an attorney who could speak on his behalf and could not find a phone number to reach him for comment.
The ExCEL program is known for having a six-day school week, uniforms and a low teacher-to-student ratio.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.