By Bill Gallo Jr. | For NJ.com
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. A local man — who also works as a school teacher in nearby Salem City — has been jailed on charges of sexually assaulting a young girl, authorities said.
Rick C. Gazzola, 44, of Buttonwood Avenue in the Hancocks Bridge section of the township, was arrested Monday evening.
He was charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to David Sowers, Lower Alloways Creek Police Department director of public safety.
The assault is alleged to have taken place at Gazzola’s home on June 24, according to Sowers.
Sowers said after the alleged assault, the victim’s parents “began to notice some alarming irregularities with their daughter and prompted them to take her to a physician. During the doctor’s visit, it was revealed that the little girl had apparently been sexually assaulted.”
The parents alerted Lower Alloways Creek police and an investigation was initiated in cooperation with the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, Sowers aid.
Authorities did not say what the connection was between Gazzola and the alleged victim or where the girl lived.
Gazzola is employed as a Social Studies teacher at the Salem Middle School.
Salem City Superintendent of Schools Dr. Amiot Patrick Michel said Tuesday that because of the charges, Gazzola “won’t be allowed back in the school system.”
Michel said Gazzola’s employment status will be discussed by the Salem City Board of Education when it meets Oct. 14.
Gazzola is being held at the Salem County Correctional Facility, Mannington Township, on $100,000 cash bail.