Saddle Brook Special Needs Counselor Charged with Explicit Contact with Underage Student

Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced the arrest of Ellen Terpening, 53, Fair Lawn, NJ on charges of Aggravated Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Sexual Contact, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

According to authorities, Monday, October 8, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department received a report that between September 2016 and March 2018, Terpening had engaged in sexual conduct with a student while she was the student’s Student Assistant Counselor at the Brownstone School in Saddle Brook, and at her residence in Fair Lawn after she had left her position at the school.

As the result of an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, Terpening was arrested on October 8, 2019 in Paramus and charged with one count of Aggravated Sexual Assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2A(1), a 1st degree crime; one count of Sexual Assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a(2)b, a 2nd degree crime; one count of Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a, a 2nd degree crime; one count of Aggravated Sexual Contact, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:14-3A, a 3rd degree crime; and one count of Endangering The Welfare Of A Child, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4a, a 3rd degree crime.

Terpening was transported to Bergen County Jail pending her first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on Wednesday, October 9th.

Prosecutor Musella states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department and the Fair Lawn Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.