⬛ NJ teacher aide accused of sex crimes involving male student

⬛ The 27-year-old woman also was a high school band director

⬛ The student says there were encounters at her house over a 2-year span

RIVERSIDE — A 27-year-old teacher’s aide has been accused of sexually assaulting a high school student multiple times over a two-year span starting when he was a freshman.

Michelle Jacoby, of Riverside, was arrested on Tuesday, according to Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia Bradshaw.

The Riverside High School educator was charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Riverside High School complex (Google Maps)
Riverside High School complex (Google Maps)

She was released Wednesday, following an appearance in Burlington County Superior Court.

Riverside Superintendent Michael Adams said that Jacoby, who also serves as the Riverside High School marching band director, has been suspended.

The investigation began after the student disclosed the relationship to a teacher - and the BCPO Special Victims Unit was contacted.

Investigators found the relationship, which has since ended, involved multiple encounters — most of them at Jacoby’s home — over a two-year period beginning when the student was a freshman.

The current age of the student and other details were withheld by police out of privacy concerns.

“The safety of our students and staff is absolutely paramount,” Adams said in a written statement to the school community. “Therefore, I want to assure you that based on the information shared with me regarding this specific allegation from a few years ago, there is no current safety concern for our staff or students.”

Back in March, the Riverside Township Board of Education approved an unpaid leave of
absence request from Jacoby for March 10 through April 21, according to board minutes.

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.

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

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