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Female Teacher Accused of Sexually Assaulting Students Sued by Families of Victims
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Nicole Dufault. Photo courtesy of NJ.com.

Summary: A former teacher has been sued for sexually assaulting her male students. 

A former teacher accused of fooling around with her teenage students is facing lawsuits by the families of her alleged victims.

  
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According to Fox News, three civil lawsuits were filed against Nicole Dufault, 38, in the past 15 months. The former language arts teacher was arrested in July 2014 after being accused of sexually assaulting six teenage boys.

Dufault is facing criminal charges and is awaiting trial. She worked at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey for nine years before the allegations surfaced.

The three civil lawsuits name Dufault and the school district as defendants. The plaintiffs, family members of Dufault’s alleged victims, are seeking “damages for Dufault’s alleged actions and claims she coerced the students into performing oral sex, pressured them due to her authority as a teacher and caused emotional distress and psychological injury.”

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The plaintiffs are suing the school because they said that it gave Dufault a place to commit her alleged crimes by keeping the school open and unsupervised during a summer 2013 program. They said the school was liable for damages because they did not provide a safe place for students.

One of the lawsuits was filed by the parents of two students and was seeking $1 million in damages and court and legal fees. The lawsuit said that the two students who were alleged victim’s of the teacher were “vulnerable to sexual harassment.” They said that the school district ignored complaints about the educator and that she had sex and oral sex with her teen students.



Another lawsuit said the school should have supervised Dufault’s classroom, where she invited students to “hang out” during free periods. In the second lawsuit, a student alleged the teacher “spoke with them about lewd and sexual actions, brushed up again their bodies and touched intimate and personal parts of their bodies in front of other students in the social group.” The student also said lewd acts between the two parties were filmed.

Dufault’s attorney said that the teacher had brain damage and was a victim of aggressive male students.

“You had a particularly overly aggressive group of students who came into contact with a teacher who suffered from brain damage,” attorney Tim Smith said, according to Fox News.

Smith said that Dufault was not screened properly after her brain surgery and that the school should have monitored her.

“You had a program that took place in an isolated part of the school where there was nobody there to control the situation, then you couple that with the fact that the school never screened her post-brain surgery,” Smith said. “She also had a home front situation that was troubled with her husband having been arrested and she was taking care of the kids herself. You had a whirlwind of events that led to this victimization of her.”

South Orange Maplewood School District said that what had happened to the students was “disturbing.”

“The allegations are deeply disturbing. The nature of the charges are the most difficult that schools, parents and children would ever have to discuss together,” Turner wrote in a statement. “By law, administrators and Board of Education members are not permitted to publicly discuss personnel or individual student matters, ongoing litigation, or other issues requiring confidentiality. However, we can affirm we believe deeply in our mission to provide our students with a safe and healthy learning environment. We are hopeful that the process will bring closure to this painful chapter in our community’s history.”

What do you think of these lawsuits? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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