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Seven former students at school in NJ sue for $50M, claim teacher sexually abused them decades ago

Seven former students at school in NJ sue for $50M, claim teacher sexually abused them decades ago

Seven former students of the West Essex Regional School District have filed a suit against the district, claiming he sexually assaulted them when they went to middle school.

Five of the lawsuits were filed Monday alleging that the man, who was a history teacher at West Essex Middle School in North Caldwell, abused them between 1977 and 1985. The lawsuit states that the victims were all aged 13 when the alleged abuse began.

Two lawsuits filed in August allege that the teacher sexually assaulted them repeatedly when they were students in 1978.

NJ Advance Media isn't naming the former teacher because he is no longer alive and a fact is unclear whether sex was ever charged with criminal charges. There was no way of finding a lawyer for the family's estate.

The lawsuit claims the teacher created and allowed a severe, pervasive and persistently sexually hostile environment. The former teacher is accused of using inappropriate behavior and sexually abusing students in flagrantly lewd and inappropriate conduct and in sexual assault.

The accused, who lived in Morris County, died in 2014 at the age of 92. His estate is a defendant in the lawsuits.

The district, which serves students from Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell and Roseland, failed to properly screen or investigate complaints of sexual abuse and of minimizing, ignoring or excusing inappropriate or questionable behavior

According to the complaints filed in the Superior Court of Essex County, each of these men seeks more than $50 million in damages.

On Thursday, Damion Macioci, district superintendent, didn't respond immediately to a request for comment on Thursday.

Even though the alleged abuse occurred decades ago, New Jersey passed a law expanding the amount of time victims of sexual assault may bring sex abuse suits.

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