A New Jersey middle school teacher is facing criminal charges of endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated criminal sexual contact — and now her alleged victim has filed a civil suit, as well.
Stephanie Carafa, a teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Bergen County, was arrested in October 2018 for allegedly sending sexually explicit photos to and having sex with a 16-year-old student.
Police say that they learned about Carafa’s relationship with the boy as they were conducting an investigation of 12 to 15 students who were allegedly circulating sexually explicit photos of high school girls. As police questioned the students, they said they had explicit pictures and videos of Carafa, as well.
Carafa wasn’t the boy’s teacher at the time, but she had taught him when he was in third grade.
According to NorthJersey.com, a lawsuit was filed last week in Superior Court in Bergen County on behalf of the boy by his parents. The complaint alleges Carafa exchanged sexually explicit text messages with the boy every day. The suit goes on to allege the boy was “encouraged to touch” Carafa sexually in her classroom.
In addition to suing Carafa, the boy is suing the Board of Education, the former school superintendent and the former principal of the school. None of the defendants have filed a response to the suit yet.
The student alleges he was a victim of “sexual assault, battery, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, child endangerment, negligence, breach of constitutional duty and violating the child sexual abuse act.” He is seeking actual and punitive damages.
Carafa has pleaded not guilty of the charges against her, and her attorney says the alleged photos — which do not show the face of the person pictured — may have been hacked from her phone. She is free on bond and will face trial later this year. Her attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment.
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