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Erica DePalo, "Teacher of the Year," accused of having sexual relationship with student at NJ school

Erica DePalo (right) walks with her attorney Anthony Alfano into Essex County Superior Court in Newark, N.J. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

(CBS/AP) NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey teacher who had been named 2011's "Teacher of the Year" at the high school where she taught was in court Wednesday answering charges that she had sex with a 15-year-old boy in her honors English class.

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Erica DePalo's attorney, Anthony Alfano, entered a not guilty plea on her behalf during a hearing in Superior Court in Newark. DePalo, 33, is facing aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and child endangerment charges. Prosecutors said she carried

on a "sexual relationship" with her student from June 2012 until just recently, according to court documents.

DePalo was arrested on Aug. 31, but remains free on $100,000 bail. She is due back in court on Oct. 22.

School officials said DePalo is indefinitely suspended from teaching English at West Orange High School, where she was a teacher for nearly a decade.

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