††††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300


††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† *News Release* ††† ††††††Date: April 22, 2010








Woodbridge teacher charged with endangering student



Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Woodbridge Police Chief William Trenery today announced the arrest of a middle school physical education teacher on charges of fondling a 14-year-old female student and sending inappropriate cell phone messages to her.


Matthew Smith (DOB 7/10/83) of 435 Hudson Boulevard in the Avenel section of Woodbridge was arrested at his home on April 21, 2010, at 7:20 p.m. and was charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of the child.


Smith, a teacher at the Fords Middle School, was being held at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick after his bail was set at $75,000. He must post the full amount before he can be released from custody.


Smith was charged after an investigation by Detective Robert Ptaszynski of the Woodbridge Police Department and Investigator James Kelly of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office determined that Smith sent sexually explicit communications to the studentís cell phone and, in a separate incident, fondled the student in a vehicle. The incidents occurred in June 2009 when the child was 14 years old.


The investigation began after the childís mother notified school authorities, who contacted police. The mother also contacted police.


Smith began as a student teacher at the middle school in the spring of 2008 and started as a full-time physical education teacher at the school in September 2008.


Anyone with information on this or similar incidents is asked to call Detective Ptaszynski at (732) 634-7700, or Investigator Kelly at (732) 745-3600.


As is the case with all criminal defendants, the charges against Smith are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.