UNION CITY — A dance instructor who works at Union City High School has been charged with molesting two 17-year-old students this school year.

Estibenson “Steven” Lopez, 31, of Paterson, turned himself in on Thursday after investigators learned of the allegations this week.

A Union City High School vice principal notified the Department of Children and Families after a student reported that the dance instructor had molested him while driving him from school on Monday.

The department’s Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit contacted prosecutors on Tuesday.

Investigators from the prosecutor’s office then spoke to a second student who said that Lopez had molested him in March at the dance studio that employs Lopez.

Lopez is not a teacher and is not on the Union City school district payroll. The district contracts with Yenyere Dance Studio to provide dance instruction.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Friday whether Lopez had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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