Police arrested a 29-year-old Montgomery High School English teacher and charged her with sharing nude photographs of herself with a 17-year-old student, and with having "sexually explicit communications" with him, officials said on Tuesday.
Montgomery Superintendent Nancy H. Gartenberg sent a letter to the school community on Tuesday noting the teacher was suspended and removed from the high school on Oct 4 while an investigation is ongoing.
"The district will continue to cooperate with the Somerset County prosecutor and ... police," she wrote. "The district is providing counseling and support services for students and staff."
Michelina Aichele of Hillsborough, a Montgomery High School English teacher since April 2012 according to social media, was arrested after the victim told police about nude photos and messages he allegedly received from Aichele over a period of several months, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.
A Montgomery High School administrator had contacted Montgomery Police on Thursday, Oct 4 regarding sexually explicit communications between a teacher and a male student, Robertson said, adding the victim provided details of sexually explicit conversations the defendant Aichele had with him on social media sites and email.
The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes / Child Abuse Unit responded to assist Montgomery Police with the investigation and arrested Aichele on Friday, October 5.
Police charged Aichele with 2nd-degree endangering the welfare of a child, Robertson said, and she was locked up in Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.
According to public records, Aichele earns $72,500 a year as a teacher. According to her LinkedIn profile, she also is employed as a consultant with Rodan + Fields, a skincare company in which products are sold via "community commerce."
Anyone with information pertinent to this case should contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit at 908-231-7100, or the Montgomery Police Department at 908-359-3222.
Tips may also be submitted using the STOPit app, which individuals my use to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to a smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ.
"We are required by the rules of court to include ... a statement explaining that the charges are merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty," Robertson said.