An attorney representing a New Jersey English teacher arrested last week for having sex with an 18-year-old student said his client is innocent and, in any case, the charge against her doesn’t amount to a crime.
The teacher, Nicole McDonough, 32, is a teacher at West Morris Mendham High School in small-town northern New Jersey. She has been suspended from her teaching duties since her arrest. (RELATED: Hot English Teacher Arrested For Victimizing 18-Year-Old Male Student With Sex Ordeal)
The unidentified, adult student attended the school at the time of the illicit affair.
McDonough’s attorney, Timothy Smith, called the case against her “legally and factually flawed,” NJ.com reports.
“This prosecution is obviously based on someone’s belief as to what the law should be, as opposed to what it is,” Smith added.
The romps between McDonough and the student allegedly occurred during four exciting days between May 31, 2014 and June 2, 2014. Details are skimpy. Prosecutors have only divulged that police investigated after learning that “McDonough engaged in a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student while she was employed as a teacher at West Morris Mendham High School.”
The single second-degree charge against McDonough is official misconduct. It is not a sex crime.
Smith, the attorney, observed in the local press that he represented another teacher in New Jersey who had already won a similar legal battle. A judge dismissed charges against that teacher, 36-year-old Adrian McConney, because the female student with whom McConney had a sexual dalliance was 18 years old. Since no unlawful conduct occurred, the judge reasoned, there could be no official misconduct.
“When justice is served, it will be Nicole’s integrity, and not the integrity of those who over-zealously persecuted her, that will be preserved,” Smith told NJ.com.
The attorney also said he doesn’t think McDonough had sex with any student.
After she was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, McDonough posted bail of $75,000 and was released.
McDonough, a seven-year veteran teacher, taught International Baccalaureate-level and honors English courses at West Morris Mendham High. Her annual salary is $53,345.
She is married and has two young children.
She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and secondary education from the College of St. Elizabeth, a nearby Roman Catholic school.
In information from the high school website that has since been removed, McDonough described teaching as among her “many loves.”
“Although teaching is one of my many passions, I am also a mom, a personal trainer, and a cross-fitter. I am a mother of two amazing girls. We also have a puggle named Tegan,” she effusively explained.
A similar story occurred in neighboring Pennsylvania in July when a married, 26-year-old high school English teacher was arrested for having sex with two 18-year-old male students and giving them some beer inside her home while her husband was out of town on business. (RELATED: Hot English Teacher Victimizes Two 18-Year-Old Males By Banging Them, Giving Them Beer)