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Former West Orange Teacher Awaits Essex County Prosecutor's Office Move

Cynthia Cumming

Saturday, August 17, 2013 • 12:59am

WEST ORANGE, NJ - On Thursday, August 15, the Alternative Press spoke with Timothy Smith, Attorney for former West Orange Fifth Grade teacher Christopher Yonitch, who was arrested on February 7, 2013, for allegedly sexually assaulting and endangering the welfare of a child at Washington Elementary School.

Yonitch was charged with 3 counts each of Sexual Assault 2C:14-2b and Endangering the Welfare of a Child 2C:24-4a, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.  The Essex County Prosecutor's Office had no information to offer, but Yonitch's attorney, Timothy Smith, Esq. said that "the defense agressively investigated the charges" and collected statements and evidence which, in the opinion of the defense, was "wholly exculpable" of the charges against him.  Smith was reticent to discuss the particulars of the evidence and information collected by the defense.  Unnamed sources close to the case told the Alternative Press said Yonitch had reported the girl's family to the Division of Youth and Family Services and the charges were "payback."

According to Smith, the defense turned over the results of the investigation to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and are awaiting a decision from them as to whether they will move forward with a Grand Jury hearing or not.  There is no current court date set Smith will not accept any type of plea bargain, maintaining Yonitch's innocence. 

(Editor's Note: this article was updated on August 17 to clarify the wording of the article.  We apologize for any inconvenience.)

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