Teacher, a resident of Lyndhurst, accused of inappropriate sex with 15-year-old female student, BCPO says

Lauren Mitchell
Lauren Mitchell

A 32-year-old married Lyndhurst woman, who is a second-grade teacher at a Jersey City charter school, has been arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault [a first-degree felony] and endangering the welfare of a child [a second-degree felony] after it was alleged she engaged in sexual activity with a 15-year-old female student at the school, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced.

The prosecutor said that on June 19, members of his office’s Special Victims Unit and the Lyndhurst Police Department arrested Lauren H. Mitchell, of Sixth Ave., after learning she allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual activity on at least one occasion with a 15-year-old girl who attends the Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School on Bramhall Ave. in Jersey City, where Mitchell teaches second-grade.

The inappropriate sexual activity is alleged to have occurred at Mitchell’s Lyndhurst home, the prosecutor said.

Several other teachers at the school told investigators they observed what they believed to be inappropriate interactions between the victim and Mitchell on a class trip and reported their observations to school authorities, Molinelli said.

School authorities first notified the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, who then notified the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, about the alleged improprieties — and the ensuing investigation resulted in Mitchell’s arrest, Molinelli said.

The Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School opened in 2011 and enrolls students from kindergarten to the eighth-grade. Mitchell’s name was not listed as a member of the faculty on the school’s website at presstime.

Christopher Garlin, the chief executive officer at the Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School, did not return a request for comment about Mitchell’s arrest and her current employment status at the school.

Mitchell was remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail with no 10% option. She was also ordered to surrender her passport, and if she makes bail, she was ordered not to have any contact with the victim, according to her arrest report.

Mitchell will be arraigned July 7 in Bergen County Court, the prosecutor said.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.