BRIDGETON — A city teacher pleaded not guilty Monday after authorities charged him with sexually assaulting two former students.
Isaias Garza, 50, of Vineland, charged with six counts of aggravated sexual assault, 13 counts of sexual assault, one count of official misconduct and one count of witness tampering, entered the plea during a post-indictment arraignment in Cumberland County Superior Court.
Kevin McCann, Garza’s attorney, declined to comment.
According to the charges, Garza sexually assaulted two students under 18 between 2004 and 2008 at the Bridgeton ExCEL Program on Washington Street, where he was a teacher, as well as outside the school.
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The victims were brothers, who are now in their mid 20s and still live in the area, according to previous reports.
According to the complaint, Garza tampered with a witness Oct. 11 by calling one victim, going to the victim’s place of employment and asking him not to speak to police about the sexual abuse the victim experienced as a juvenile. The complaint also alleges Garza offered the victim money not to speak with police.
Garza was released from the Cumberland County jail after his October detention hearing and was indicted last month.
As a condition of his release, Garza is barred from making contact with the victims or going to one of the victims’ place of work in Millville, according to previous reports. Garza was also required to surrender his passport and report weekly to the court.
His next scheduled court date is April 15.
Staff Writer Claire Lowe contributed to this report.