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Prosecutors: Substitute Teacher with Herpes Sexually Abused Student for a Year, Was Found Out by Her Own Kids


A 45-year-old Jersey City, New Jersey substitute teacher is accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old male student from June 2018 to August 2019 during sexual encounters at her home. Elyse Castillo’s two children, ages 13 and 14, were the ones who confronted their mother with their disgust over “her relationship with a minor,” leading to her arrest, Hudson County prosecutors say.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in the initial news release about the case that Castillo was arrested on Aug. 29 and charged with aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child and witness tampering. Castillo also faces a charge for allegedly having sex with the alleged victim and not informing him she had herpes.

Prosecutors said that Castillo was a Jersey City Board of Education-employed substitute teacher who last “reported to work” in Nov. 2018, months after the alleged abuse began.

According to, authorities first found out about the accusations after the father of Castillo’s children called the Division of Child Protection and Permanency on Aug. 19 to allege that she had abused their kids. The news outlet snapped photos of Castillo in court, where she could be seen with her head down in an apparent attempt to hide her face. The father’s call was made after there was an alleged “altercation” between Castillo and her children, during which they confronted their mother about the illicit relationship.

The report said that investigators then interviewed alleged victim, who confirmed that he first met the substitute teacher while he was in the sixth grade and that they “would make love.” The last alleged sexual encounter is said to have occurred on Aug. 2.

Prosecutors argued that Castillo should remain jailed ahead of trial, citing strength of evidence and an alleged confession, but the judge decided instead on Wednesday let Castillo out ahead of trial. Castillo has been ordered not contact any minors other than her kids.

If convicted, Castillo faces a decade or two of time behind bars.

[Image via Alex Staroseltsev/Shutterstock]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.