WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) — A southern New Jersey teacher who authorities say pretended to be a teenage boy online in an effort to have a sexual encounter with one of his students has been found guilty of official misconduct and luring.
Gloucester County prosecutors say Michael Furey, a 49-year-old West Deptford resident who taught biology at Paulsboro High School, was convicted Tuesday in a nonjury trial.
The judge revoked Furey’s $50,000 bail and ordered him held until he’s sentenced Nov. 29. But authorities did not say what type of sentence he faces.
The student, who was 17 at the time, said Furey sent her several messages in 2010, some of which were very sexual in nature. She initially though the sender was a teenage boy, but soon learned they were coming from Furey.
During the trial, the girl said she saw Furey one night in a parked car, flashing his headlights as she walked home from a friend’s house. The girl said she was stunned and called him “a creeper.”
The girl said that as she started walking away, Furey told her to delete the messages he had sent her and not tell anyone what had happened.
The girl reported the encounter to her mother two days later and Furey was arrested. He was then suspended without pay from his job.
Furey’s lawyer, Robert Wolf, conceded during the trial that his client acted unethically and immorally and should be barred from teaching. But Wolf argued that Furey “did not abuse any official duty” and should not be convicted of official misconduct.
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