Jersey City middle school teacher charged with sexually assaulting students

Jersey City middle school teacher charged with sexually assaulting students
Middle school teacher accused of sex crimes
The Jersey City middle school teacher arrested yesterday and accused of numerous sex crimes has been identified as a 42-year-old Bayonne man.

Sean Lora, a teacher at School 7 in the Jersey City Heights, is accused touching a student in a classroom on Tuesday, according to a statement from Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.

Authorities say a student there alleged that Lora inappropriately touched her Tuesday while they were in a classroom with other students. School officials notified authorities, and the subsequent investigation found that other students also claimed Lora had inappropriately touched them on previous occasions.

Detectives investigating the incident found more students who said Lora touched them in the past, according to Suarezs statement. They arrested him at 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Suarez said today.

Hudson County prosecutors say Sean Lora is charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact, sexual assault and child endangerment. It wasnt known Thursday if hes been suspended from his job or if hes retained an attorney.

When the Tuesday incident occurred, there were a total of seven children in the classroom with Lora, according to Suarez.

Lora has been charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault by contact, one count of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and five counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

News of yesterdays arrest had School 7 parents panicked. The prosecutors office announced on Twitter that they had arrested a teacher but did not disclose his identity until this morning.

Lora has been a school district employee since 2008. He taught English as a second language.

The Laidlaw Avenue school has about 900 students in grades six through eight. It has a high percentage of students learning English: 35 percent, compared to 11 percent districtwide, state education records say.

A school district spokeswoman could not provide detailed employment records — the district is closed today — but said teachers accused of abuse or inappropriate behavior are removed from the classroom until their cases are closed

Yesterday Sudhan Thomas, the school board president, said he is calling for a closed-door meeting with School Superintendent Marcia V. Lyles next week to discuss Loras arrest.

“I would like to assure Jersey City that we will take this up as an immediate, urgent priority to not only address the current situation but to prevent any further occurrences of crime of any nature against our children,” Thomas said.

Terrence T. McDonald may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @terrencemcd. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

A teacher at a Jersey City middle school was arrested yesterday morning and charged with numerous sex crimes, the county prosecutors office announced yesterday.

The prosecutors office reported the arrest of the School 7 teacher on Twitter yesterday, but has declined to identify the individual, who it says was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual conduct and endangering the welfare of a child.

The teacher was arrested by the Hudson County prosecutors special victims unit. A prosecutors spokesman said he could not provide any more information.

School district spokeswoman Maryann Dickar said the schools staff “immediately” alerted authorities yesterday after “students reported concerns.”

“We are greatly disturbed by these allegations and will do everything we can to support and protect our students,” Dickar said.

One parent of a School 7 student told The Jersey Journal she is concerned about prosecutors not releasing the name of the teacher.

“All I want is some reassurance and awareness for my child and I,” the woman said.

Sudhan Thomas, the school board president, said he plans to discuss the incident in a closed-door meeting with schools Superintendent Marcia V. Lyles next week. He said he learned of the arrest yesterday morning.

“The board is not aware at this time of any specific details including the identity of the teacher, the number of our children who could be victims of these alleged sex crimes and aggravated assault,” Thomas said. “The board will approach these kind of situations with zero tolerance as it should be as prescribed by statute.”

Terrence T. McDonald may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @terrencemcd. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

Posted in Jersey City