CLIFFVIEW SCOOP: A 28-year-old history teacher at Immaculate Heart Academy was arrested last night and charged with having sex with a male student from Wood Ridge High School, where she’s the girls varsity softball coach.
Jillian Clementi Cooper
Jillian Clementi Cooper posted $50,000 bail last night and was released, pending a Municipal Court hearing on sexual assault and endangerment charges, following her arrest by investigators from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
“Mrs. Cooper has been suspended and we have notified parents that we’ve taken these steps,” Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, told
Authorities allege the incidents occurred a couple of years ago when Cooper, a graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, had an apartment in Lyndhurst.
Married last September, she now lives with her husband in Rutherford.
The alleged incidents in no way had any relation to Immaculate Heart Academy, an all-girls school in Washington Township, authorities emphasized.
That message was reinforced by IHA Principal Patricia Molloy in her notification letter to parents and guardians.
“Fortunately, no IHA student was involved in this matter, and we believe that the actions we have taken are measured and appropriate at this time,” the letter says, in part.
“We know full well that one letter alone will not lessen any anxiety you may have at this time; we can only make that happen by acting as we always have at IHA — nurturing and educating with love ….,” the principal added.
Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli formally announced Clementi’s arrest today at 5 o’clock.
“Upon learning [of the alleged affair], Wood-Ridge High School contacted authorities who in turn contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit,” Molinelli said. “An investigation then ensued which revealed that Jillian Clementi had engaged in sexual activities
with the victim during his junior year in high school.
“The sexual activities occurred with Clementi at her former residence in Lyndhurst.”
A May 8 arraignment is scheduled in Lyndhurst Municipal Court, the prosecutor said.
LET’S BE CLEAR:
Nothing in the law can be more definitive than what constitutes statutory rape: It is a crime that occurs in New Jersey when one of the partners is between 13 and 16 and the other is at least four years older.
And it can put a convicted offender in prison for a long time, among other serious consequences.
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