Maplewood Teacher's Motion to Dismiss 40-Count Indictment Denied
A Superior Court judge has once again rejected a Maplewood teacher's motion to dismiss charges that she sexually assaulted six male students.
Maplewood teacher charged with sexually assaulting six students is looking to get charges dismissed this time alleging that the roughly two-month gap between when prosecutors provided in-depth legal instructions to the grand jurors on Dec. 3, 2014 and when they presented the facts about Dufault's case to them on Feb. 4, 2015. "laziness" of the prosecutors in presenting the case to the grand jury.
The 36-year-old Columbia High language arts teacher, Nicole Dufault, is facing a 40-count indictment charging her with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly engaging in sexual activity with the six students -between 14 and 15 years of age - on multiple occasions between about July 2013 and August 2014.
Among evidence against Dufault include a cellphone video recorded by a second student present while she performed oral sex on one of the two students in her car.
Previously, Dufault's attorney, Timothy Smith, filed a motion to dismiss the child endangerment charges and pushing to have separate trials in connection with each of the alleged victims. However, the judge rejected that motion and downgraded four of the charges from second to third degree crimes because of the differences between each of the alleged relationships.
Superior Court Judge Michael L. Ravin denied a motion from Nicole Dufault to reconsider his Dec. 18 ruling that denied her motion to dismiss the 40-count indictment.
According to the judge, Smith' appellate ruling was not based only on elapsed time but also because legal instructions initially provided were "misleading."
The judge on Monday issued a written decision denying the motion for one because of the differences between the Triestman case and Dufault's case. Adding that the time lapse alone was not the basis for the Triestman court's decision, the Court does not find this case to be controlling law on the issue at hand.