NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey county Teacher of the Year who admits having sex with a 15-year-old student from her honors English class has been spared prison time.
A judge in Newark on Monday sentenced 33-year-old Erica DePalo to lifetime parole supervision. DePalo also will have to forfeit her teaching certificate and register as a sex offender.
Prosecutors say the Montclair resident had a short sexual relationship with a boy at West Orange High School.
A tearful DePalo apologized. She pleaded guilty in February to child endangerment. She initially was charged with aggravated sexual assault and could’ve faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
A defense attorney says antidepressants the 2011 Essex County Teacher of the Year had been incorrectly prescribed contributed to her errors in judgment but aren’t an excuse.