Former teacher sentenced for sex abuse of student at N.J. high school, officials say

Former teacher sentenced for sex abuse of student at N.J. high school, officials say

A former Ocean City High School choir teacher was sentenced to five years in prison for the sexual abuse of a student in 2016, officials said Thursday.

Ricardo Valle, 35, must register as a sex offender, be banned from public employment and give up his teaching certificate as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, according to Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey H. Sutherland.

Valle pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of a child after initially being arrested on counts of sexual assault and official misconduct, authorities said.

According to court documents, he abused a girl beginning while chaperoning an overnight school trip to Washington, D.C. in March 2016 and continued months later when investigators alleged he sexually assaulted the student on a futon in the choir room.

Valle left his job in Ocean City shortly after the June encounter and worked as a teacher at Clear Creek Independent School District near Houston, Texas, according to authorities. A district spokesperson did not return a message seeking comment.

Investigators arrested Valle, then living in Seabrook, Texas, in February, the prosecutor’s office said.

Defense attorney information was not immediately available. Records show Valle was in custody at the Cape May County Correctional Center as of Thursday.

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Noah Cohen may be reached at [email protected].

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