NEWARK —  A Newark Public Schools attendance counselor has been arrested and charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

Essex County prosecutors say that in October, 31-year-old James D. Rone-Lewis brought a student into his office at Avon Avenue Elementary School and touched the child's genitals.

Rone-Lewis has been released on pretrial monitoring as he awaits trial.

He has also been suspended without pay by the school and is barred from having any contact with the victim or the school.

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.