PE teacher and former athlete ‘had illicit sex with teenage student

A New Jersey high school teacher and coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a student,

Samantha Krakower, 24, a physical education and health teacher at Leonia High School, in Bergen Country, was accused of having “an inappropriate sexual relationship” by the regions's prosecutor Mark Musella.

Musella said: “During the investigation, it was learned that Krakower, who is also a softball coach and basketball coach at Leonia High School, started the inappropriate relationship earlier this school year.”

According to District Schools Superintendent Edward Bertolini officials received confidential information about the allegations.

He described the incident as “a very troubling situation.”

Samantha Krakower first began working in Bergen County in September 2020.

She played softball all four years at Kean University before graduating last year and was considered a standout softball player both in college and in high school before that.

A statement from the school district said: “While these are pending charges and there has been no adjudication of guilt, the notification of these charges is of great concern to the Leonia Board of Education and the entire Leonia community.”

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“The board has suspended this teacher, pending an adjudication of the criminal charges and this teacher is restrained from being on any of the schools’ campuses.”

“The board and the administration are working closely with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds and remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students”.

Krakower faces charges of sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, authorities said.

Krakower remained held at the Bergen County Jail ahead of a court hearing, sheriff’s office records show.

There are unconfirmed reports that the student was either 16 or 17 years old.

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