NJ PE teacher had 'inappropriate sexual relationship' with student: prosecutors

Samantha Krakower
Samantha Krakower. Photo credit Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

LEONIA, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A New Jersey physical education teacher has been arrested and charged with having an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a student, prosecutors say.

Leonia High School physical education and health teacher Samantha Krakower, 24, of Palisades Park, has been arrested and charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.

Staff members at the high school contacted Leonia police on Thursday to report that Krakower had allegedly engaged in an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with a student starting earlier this school year, the prosecutor’s office said.

The Palisades Park resident also coaches softball and basketball at the high school, according to the prosecutor's office.

Krakower's attorney information wasn’t immediately available Friday.

Leonia Superintendent Ed Bertolini addressed Krakower’s arrest in a message sent out to the school community on Friday.

“Sadly, you may have become aware of a very troubling situation involving a Leonia High School student and teacher,” he wrote. “I became aware of the situation after receiving two messages on our RAVE Confidential Tipline.”

“Since this is a personnel matter, I am limited in what I can share with you,” he added. “On Monday, our school counselors will be available for any student or staff member that needs counseling.”

Bertolini also shared a statement issued by the school district.

“While these are pending charges and there has been no adjudication of guilt, the notification of these charges is of great concern to the Leonia Board of Education and the entire Leonia community,” the statement read. “The Board has suspended this teacher, pending an adjudication of the criminal charges, and this teacher is restrained from being on any of the schools’ campuses.”

The school board and administration are “working closely with law enforcement as their investigation proceeds and remain committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students,” the statement added.