Former Montville Township teacher Jason Fennes has denied charges he sexually abused a first-grade student in his class in 2005 and the charges might be related to separate false rumors that were spread through Montville a few years ago and cleared by a Division of Youth and Family Services investigation, Fennes' attorney told a judge Wednesday, according to a report on NJ.com.
The attorney, Julian Wilsey, said the previous rumors allegedly were started by a man whose estranged wife Fennes was dating, had a grudge and continued to harass Fennes, The Star-Ledger and Daily Record reported. Wilsey said he will be seeing if there is a connection to those rumors and the criminal charges.
Judge Salem Vincent Ahto said he would consider Wilsey's request to have bail reduced from $100,000 to $50,000 after an application is filed and he has more information.
Fennes, 37, lived in Boonton while he . He has been living in Bloomfield while , where he was employed until Feb. 21, the reports said.
Fennes, who was arrested on Monday, is facing for allegedly abusing a girl in his classroom and in a bathroom attached to it, authorities said.
The allegations were brought to the attention of police in December by a woman who said the girl told her about the alleged abuse in 2007, but the woman didn't know what to do with the information at the time, according to the arrest affidavit. Police then interviewed the girl, who described the alleged abuse, the affidavit said.