Prosecutor’s Office: Incident being looked at as sexual contact, not assault
By ERIN ROLL
No charges have been filed in connection with a sexual incident that allegedly occurred between two students in a Montclair High School restroom, said Katherine Carter, a spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Essex County's Prosecutor is investigating the allegations as a case of inappropriate sexual contact.
The incident is reported to have involved two juvenile students, one male and one female. The incident was reported to Montclair Police on the afternoon of May 14.
An emailed message from MHS Principal James Earle to parents on Wednesday, May 16, described the incident as an alleged sexual assault.
Under New Jersey state law, sexual contact is described as touching of someone’s intimate parts, either directly or through clothing, for the purpose of humiliating or degrading the victim or sexually gratifying the alleged perpetrator.
Sexual assault refers to any penetration, no matter how slight, without the victim’s consent, by force or when the victim is physically or mentally unable to consent.
In the statement, Earle said that the district was taking student safety "very seriously," and that security at the high school had been increased as a result.
Superintendent Kendra Johnson declined to comment during Wednesday evening’s board of education meeting, but said that the district stood by Earle’s statement.