BRIDGETON — A Bridgeton teacher charged in the sexual assault of two former students was released from jail Monday pending trial.
Isaias Garza, 50, of Vineland, was freed from the Cumberland County jail following a court appearance before Judge Joseph Chiarello, said his attorney Kevin McCann.
Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
“We’re thrilled that he was released. He’s home and yesterday happened to be his youngest son’s birthday, so it worked out well for everybody,” McCann said Tuesday.
Monday’s appearance was a continuation of a detention hearing from last week. The Prosecutor’s Office had requested the delay. As they did last week, a large contingent of friends and family showed up to the hearing in support of Garza.
Garza is charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault, one count of official misconduct and one count of witness tampering.
According to the charges, Garza allegedly sexually assaulted two students under the age of 18 between 2004 and 2008 at the Bridgeton ExCEL Program on Washington Street, where he was a teacher, as well as outside the school.
McCann confirmed Tuesday the victims were brothers, who are now in their mid-20s and still live in the area.
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 to not speak to police about the sexual abuse the victim experienced as a juvenile. The complaint also alleges Garza offered the victim money to not speak with police.
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, McCann said. He said the stipulation extends to his wife, as well. Garza was also required to surrender his passport and report weekly to the court.
McCann said the next court appearance will be a pre-indictment conference likely in late November or early December. He said he expects a plea offer but said his client will likely decline to take one because it would require him to go to jail.
“He didn’t do it, why would he do that?” McCann said.