⚫ Ex-wrestling coach and special education teacher accepts plea deal

⚫ Prosecutors say he used his jobs to meet and sexually abuse young victims

⚫ John Denuto was affiliated with over two dozen schools, clubs and groups

A former wrestling coach and teacher accused of sexually abusing children has agreed to a plea deal, stemming from multiple criminal charges.

John Denuto, of Spotswood, was initially arrested on Feb. 15, 2020.

The 46-year-old Denuto, a former special education teacher at Sayreville Middle School and coach at multiple other schools and groups, exploited his position to meet and abuse victims, prosecutors said.

An investigation found that he had criminal sexual contact with a juvenile and also possessed child sexual exploitative materials — which he had created by filming and photographing the juvenile.

After initially facing more than two dozen charges, Denuto pleaded guilty on April 14 to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of invasion of privacy.

He was expected to face a prison term of seven years when sentenced on Sept. 8.

Denuto would also be on parole supervision for life and must register under Megan’s Law.

 Prosecutors have released a list of schools, clubs and organizations with which Denuto was associated:

— Rhino's Wrestling Club (Morganville)

— CJA Wrestling Club (East Brunswick)

— Pennsville High School

— Raritan High School (Hazlet)

— Saint John Vianney High School (Holmdel)

— Sayreville Middle School

— Sayreville High School

— Middletown North High School

— Monroe High School

— Peddie High School (Hightstown)

— South Brunswick High School

— Saint Joseph High School (Montvale)

— Union County College (Cranford)

— Camden Catholic High School (Cherry Hill)

— Johnson High School (Clark)

— St. Thomas Aquinas High School (formerly Bishop Ahr High School, in Edison)

— Woodbridge High School

— 7th & 8th Woodbridge Recreation Program (Woodbridge)

— 7th & 8th Grade Old Bridge Recreation Program (Old Bridge)

— Piscataway High School

— Spotswood High School

— Freehold Borough High School

⚫ Delayed juvenile charge also brings incarceration for disgraced coach, Denuto

In a separate prosecution, Denuto was adjudicated delinquent for crimes which, if committed by an adult, would count as two counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault.

He was the subject of a dispositional hearing on Oct. 21, 2022, which resulted in Denuto’s commitment to the Juvenile Justice Commission Acting Director for an aggregate term of four years.

Denuto was previously among a roundup of disgraced teachers and educators, accused of sex crimes statewide:

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story mistakenly named a school that prosecutors had previously said they should not have included in the list.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

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