Paterson Teacher Accused Of Having Sex With13 Year-Old Boy
(Morristown-WABC, February 24, 2003) — A Paterson teacher is accused of having sex with a 13 year-old student at least 20 times. Thirty-five year-old Jodi Thorp surrendered to authorities Monday.
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Prosecutors say Thorp had sex with the boy at her Mendham home between June 2001 and September 2002. The boy, who is now 15 years-old, was a students in the nonprofit business Thorp ran called HUGS, Helping Underprivileged and Gifted Students, the prosecutor's office said.
Students enrolled in HUGS participated in fund-raising and community service activities, as well as field trips, under Thorp's supervision. Prosecutors say she also took students to her home for weekend visits after getting written permission from parents.
The Paterson school district participated in the three-month investigation, the prosecutor's office said.
Thorp, a five year teaching veteran, maintains her innocence, said her lawyer, Robert E. Dunn. She was suspended with pay several months ago after teaching seventh-grade social studies at School 24, according to Dunn, who added that the 35 year-old is married and expects a child in April.
Thorp was released on $75,000 bail set by state Superior Court Judge Catherine M. Langlois. She faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child. If convicted on all counts, Thorp faces 10 to 20 years in prison.