Teacher charged with sexually abusing student at Catholic school, prosecutor says

Star-Ledger [Newark NJ]

March 16, 2022

By Anthony G. Attrino

[Via NJ.com]

A teacher from Bergen County was arrested Monday and charged with sexually abusing a student, authorities said Wednesday.

James Falletti, 43, of Hackensack, was arrested following an investigation that began on Aug. 30, 2021, when Elmwood Park police received a complaint that a child had been sexually assaulted.

“A months-long investigation (revealed) that James Falletti sexually assaulted the child, who was younger than 16-years-old, in Elmwood Park,” Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella said in a statement.

An affidavit of probable cause states the alleged abuse occurred June 8, 2017, at St. Leo’s Catholic School on Market Street in Elmwood Park and that Falletti was the alleged victim’s teacher at the time and was supposed to be acting in a supervisory role.

The victim told police he was at an after-school program taking care of pets and other animals in Falletti’s classroom when the teacher showed the student a pornographic video and the alleged abuse occurred “in the back of the classroom,” the affidavit states.

The affidavit states the victim’s mother sent emails to school staff expressing concern about her son being kept after school for three days around the time of the incident.

In further emails, the victim’s mother wrote that her son had disclosed to her “circumstances surrounding the disclosure of the sexual act,” the affidavit states.

According to his LinkedIn page, Falletti now teaches at Corpus Christi School, a religious school in Hasbrouck Heights. As of Wednesday, the school’s website contained a page listing Falletti as a seventh-grade science teacher.

Falletti’s LinkedIn page states he worked as a science and world languages teacher at St. Leo’s for nearly seven years before leaving in July 2017.

Musella said as a result of the investigation, Falletti was arrested in Paramus and charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact. He was held at the Bergen County Jail pending a court hearing.

Messages left for administrators at both schools were not immediately returned on Wednesday. In an email to NJ Advance Media, the Archdiocese of Newark said that it learned of the allegations against Falletti in August 2021.

“Falletti has not been active as a teacher in any archdiocesan school since August 2021. We are awaiting the outcome of investigations by civil authorities and agencies, including by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, with whom we are cooperating fully,” the Archdiocese of Newark said in a statement.

Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.