MAPLEWOOD, N.J. -- There are new and disturbing details about a teacher in New Jersey who is accused of sexually abusing students. Prosecutors now say there were a total of five victims.
Nicole Dufault pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the male students at Columbia High School in Maplewood.
All 5 of the victims were 15 years old, and police say some of the sex assaults happened on school grounds during the academic year, as well as during summer school.
Dufault, who has been teaching at Columbia for nearly a decade, is being held on $500,000 bail. Her own two children are now in protective custody.
"I don't understand how someone can't pick up the clues for something like that or how any one of those kids would not have said something before now. It's really surprising to me," said Jennifer Berkeley, a parent.
"They're 15, not even 17, 18, not even high school seniors. That's appalling. She should be fired," said Julia Uhlman, a recent graduate.
There's no comment from the district, aside from a letter to parents pledging cooperation with detectives.
Dufault, who recently separated from her husband, lives in Caldwell, raising their two young kids on her own. Prosecutors said the children have been removed from her custody.
Nancy Ursetti lives just a few doors away.
"She was so gentle with those children, she seemed like the best mother," Ursetti said, "If you can't trust her it's like, 'oh, my gosh.'"
New Jersey teacher charged with having sex with 5 of her students
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