On July 24, 2020, Paul VanHouten, an employee of the Williamstown Middle School, has been criminally charged by the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office with Official Misconduct, Sexual Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child after a five-month long investigation assisted by both the Monroe Township Police Department and the Monroe Township School District.
VanHouten, a teacher in the Monroe Township School District since 1989, was assigned as a Science teacher. VanHouten surrendered at the Monroe Township Police Department on July 24, 2020 and was lodged in the Salem County Correctional Facility pending a court date.
The allegations against VanHouten were reported to law enforcement by the victim’s mother. VanHouten was suspended with pay by the District on February 28, 2020.
According to the charges, VanHouten, in a supervisory role, did sexually assault a 12-year-old student specifically by touching her breasts over the clothes after following her into a storage closet in the classroom. Following the assault, he threatened that if she told he would fail her in class.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of their rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State Law.
In April, 2018, N.J.com reported that a municipal court judge dismissed a harassment charge filed against VanHouten, who had been charged with spreading a Facebook “threat.“