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Essex County Teacher Charged with Explicit Contact on Student

Essex County

Ad By: Tracie Carter

Mr. Matthew Swajkowski, a 36-year-old teacher at Verona High School, was arrested on September 22 after being charged with explicit contact with a minor, endangering the welfare of a child, and other related offenses.

Officials said Swajkowski, who led the school's chess club, allegedly engaged in inappropriate explicit conduct with a student who was a member of the said club.

The Verona Police Department was alerted to the allegations in July 2023.

 During the course of a joint investigation conducted by the Verona Police Department and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, it was determined that the defendant engaged in sexual conduct with the juvenile in Verona. 

The other charges against Swajkowski are sexual conduct with a minor, and purposely or knowingly offering or serving or making available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages.

While the age of consent in New Jersey stands at 16, the law stipulates that those in positions of "supervisory or disciplinary power" over a minor aged 16 to 18 cannot engage in explicit conduct with them.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II emphasized that these are merely allegations.

Swajkowski is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.