Female Teacher Charged With Sex Assault on Seventh-Grade Boy
Associated Press, Fox News, various newspapers in U.S.A. and Canada, Tuesday, February 25, 2003
MORRISTOWN, N.J. A 35-year-old seventh-grade teacher was charged with having sex with one of her students at least 20 times at the teacher's home.
Jodi Thorp, 35, surrendered to authorities Monday on charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors claim she had sex with the boy at her Mendham home between June 2001 and September 2002. The boy is now 15.
The boy, whose name was withheld, had been in Thorp's seventh-grade social studies class and was one of the first participants in a nonprofit business Thorp ran called HUGS, Helping Underprivileged and Gifted Students, prosecutors said.
Students enrolled in HUGS participated in fund-raising and community service activities, as well as field trips, under Thorp's supervision. Thorp took students to her home for weekend visits after getting written permission from parents, prosecutors said.
Thorp maintains her innocence, said her lawyer, Robert E. Dunn. She was suspended with pay several months ago, he said.
Thorp, who taught seventh-grade social studies for about five years, is married and expects a child in April, Dunn said.
Thorp was released on $75,000 bail. She faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
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