Bayonne High School teacher charged with criminal sexual contact

61-year-old Ricardo Rodriguez allegedly groped the 'buttocks and chest' of a 51-year-old female employee

A faculty member at Bayonne High School has been arrested for criminal sexual contact, according to Bayonne Police Captain Eric Amato.

61-year-old Ricardo Rodriguez was taken into custody at 9:40 a.m. on Jan. 18 at Police Headquarters, Amato said. His arrest stems from an investigation into a reported incident that occurred on Jan. 9.

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On Jan. 10, an employee of the Bayonne Board of Education and assigned to Bayonne High School, reported that Rodriguez had allegedly touched her inappropriately on Jan. 9 at 7:55 a.m. inside of Bayonne High School. According to the police, the victim is a 51 year old female.

According to the victim, after unlocking a door for Rodriguez inside of Bayonne High School, he allegedly reached to her and hugged her. While doing so, Rodriguez allegedly grabbed her buttocks and chest without her consent.

The Police Department Detective Bureau immediately investigated the incident. That led to Rodriguez being charged with criminal sexual contact.

Rodriguez is not only a history teacher at BHS but a former Bayonne High School football head coach for nine years from 2001 to 2004 and again from 2011 to 2015. Having worked for the school district for about 26 years since February of 1997, public records show he currently earns $109,330 per year.

According to a statement by Superintendent of Schools John Niesz, Rodriguez has been place on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. He said that on the advice of the school district’s attorney, he cannot comment on any criminal and or legal proceedings involving an employee as a matter of policy.

“We take any accusation of impropriety very seriously and take every precaution to ensure our employees and students are always safe,” Niesz said. He also noted the incident did not involve any students, but did not comment further.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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