On October 27, 2018, Stephanie Carafa, a teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Lodi, NJ, was arrested following an investigation conducted by the Lodi police department and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office of inappropriate activity occurring at a local high school.
Police initiated this investigation after allegations were made that sexually explicit photographs of high school-aged girls were being circulated by students at Lodi High School. During this investigation, it was revealed by several of the high school students investigated that, in addition to sexually explicit photographs being circulated of other high school students, sexually explicit photographs and videos were also being circulated of Ms. Carafa. Ms. Carafa was then arrested and subsequently charged with aggravated criminal sexual conduct and endangering the welfare of a child.
Prosecutor’s Theory Of The Case
According to the details of the record in Ms. Carafa’s pretrial criminal proceedings, the prosecutor, Kristin DeMarco, intends to prove that Ms. Carafa was engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a former student, who is now of high school age but is under 16 years of age. Specifically, Ms. DeMarco alleges that Ms. Carafa and the former student had conversations via social media application, Snapchat. During those conversations, Ms. Carafa would send the former student photographs and videos of herself, wherein she was nude or scantily clad. The student saved the photographs and videos that Ms. Carafa allegedly sent to him on another application and began disseminating them among Lordi High School students.
In addition to sending the former student sexually explicit photographs and videos, Ms. DeMarco also alleges that Ms. Carafa and the former student would meet in her classroom after hours, and, during those meetings, Ms. Carafa would grope the former student over his clothes and would permit the student to do the same to her.
Defense Refutes Prosecutor’s Theory Of The Case
While the prosecutor has outlined the facts as alleged in Ms. Carafa’s pending criminal case, Ms. Carafa’s attorney has argued that the evidence obtained does not show her client’s face and that these photographs and videos could have even been altered. Alternatively, Ms. Carafa’s attorney argues that she did not send the photographs and videos obtained in the investigation to the alleged victims. Rather, her attorney argues that someone could have obtained this material by hacking Ms. Carafa’s cell phone. Her attorney states that there is no forensic evidence as to where the photographs and video came from and how they were received by the high school students. Her attorney further argues that the high school students implicated Ms. Carafa in this matter to avoid getting in trouble at school for disseminating sexually explicit photographs of their high school peers.
Currently, Ms. Carafa, daughter of Lodi, NJ Mayor Emil Carafa, is out of jail on bail and is awaiting trial in from of Superior Court Judge James Sattely. Ms. Carafa is also currently on paid leave from Lordi School District.
Contact an Experienced Westmont Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Child Pornography Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with child pornography in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen have successfully represented clients charged with child pornography in Westmont, Gloucester, Cherry Hill, Haddon Township and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-754-5501or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 210 Haddon Avenue Westmont, NJ 08108.
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