A teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson NJ has been indicted on charges of sexually assaulting and promoting prostitution among his students.
51-year-old Thomas Weir was originally arrested in February and accused of offering $50.00 to a student to perform a sex act. It is alleged that Mr. Weir made the offer on Facebook.
A month later, Mr. Weir was arrested again for allegedly making similar offers to his former seventh-grade students, who were between the ages of 13 and 17.
While the sex assault investigation was ongoing, one of Mr. Weir’s former students, now 37 years old, came forward and alleged that Mr. Weir had sexually assaulted him as a child.
Following the arrests, the Paterson Board of Education suspended Mr. Weir from his teaching job.
Recently, Mr. Weir was arrested again and charged with new counts of theft and money laundering at his part-time job. An investigation by the prosecutor’s Financial Crimes Unit and the Paterson Public Schools Security Department uncovered evidence that Mr. Weir used his position as a bookkeeper at a Haledon NJ granite company to steal $200,000.00. It is believed that Mr. Weir took the money over a period of five (5) years and used it to pay off his personal credit cards.
Mr. Weir has been charged with first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, second degree promoting prostitution, endangering the welfare of a child,second degree theft by deception, and money laundering.
In New Jersey, aggravated sexual assault is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2a. According to the statute, a person is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with a victim who is less than 13 years old. If convicted of first degree aggravated sexual assault, Mr. Weir could face as many as 20 years in New Jersey State Prison. Additionally, the No Early Release Act (NERA) would apply, meaning that Mr. Weir could be required to serve at least 85% his sentence.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Paterson Teacher Indicted on Sex Assault and Prostitution Charges, Accused of Stealing $200K.”