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Sayreville Middle School Teacher Pleads Guilty to Endangering Minors


By: Richard L. Smith 

Middlesex County officials reported that John Denuto, 46, of Spotswood, pled guilty to Endangering the Welfare of a Child and other offenses on Friday, April 14, 2023.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said Denuto, a former special education teacher at the Sayreville Middle School and a former wrestling coach at numerous other schools and organizations who exploited his position as a teacher a wrestling coach to meet and abuse his victims, was initially arrested on February 15, 2020.

According to Prosecutor Ciccone, an investigation by the Sayreville Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office determined Denuto had criminal sexual contact with a juvenile and he possessed child sexual exploitive materials that he had created by filming and photographing the previously mentioned juvenile.

Prosecutor Ciccone said a further investigation revealed that Denuto possessed additional sexually exploitive material of unidentified individuals.

On April 22, 2021, Denuto was indicted on one count of first-degree Endangering the Welfare of a minor, one count of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a minor, three counts of third-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, eight counts of third-degree Invasion of Privacy, six counts of third-degree Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact, six counts of fourth-degree Criminal Sexual Contact, two counts of third-degree Witness Tampering, and one count of third-degree Hindering His Own Apprehension.

Prosecutor Ciccone said on Friday, April 14,  Denuto pled before the Honorable Benjamin S. Bucca, J.S.C., to one count of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, one count of third-degree Endangering and one count of fourth-degree Invasion of Privacy.

He is subject to a sentence of seven years, will be on parole supervision for life, and must register under Megan's Law. Denuto is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Benjamin S. Bucca, J.S.C., on September 8.

Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone posted a list of schools, organizations, and clubs that the investigation revealed Denuto to be associated with:

Rhino's Wrestling Club - Morganville CJA Wrestling Club - East Brunswick Pennsville High School - Pennsville Raritan High School - Hazlet Township Saint John Vianney - Holmdel Sayreville Middle School - Sayreville Sayreville High School - Sayreville Middletown North High School - Middletown Township Monroe High School - Monroe Peddie High School - Hightstown South Brunswick High School - South Brunswick Saint Joseph High School - Montvale Union County College - Cranford Camden Catholic High School - Cherry Hill Johnson High School - Clark St. Thomas Aquinas High School (formerly Bishop Ahr HS) - Edison Woodbridge High School - Woodbridge 7th & 8th Woodbridge Recreation Program - Woodbridge 7th & 8th Grade Old Bridge Recreation Program - Old Bridge Piscataway High School - Piscataway Spotswood High School - Spotswood Freehold Boro High School - Freehold Borough

In a separate prosecution, Denuto was adjudicated delinquent on May 20, 2022, for crimes that, if committed by an adult, would constitute two counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Assault.

Denuto was the subject of a dispositional hearing on October 21, 2022, which resulted in his commitment by the Honorable Deborah J. Venezia to the care and control of the Acting Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission for an aggregate term of four years.