TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A well-known high school guidance counselor was arrested recently on charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The accusations don’t involve any of his Bergen County students, but are related to a 5-year-old acquaintance, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Wednesday.
Edward Meier, 60, has been at Cliffside Park High School for more than three decades — first as a teacher and then as an award-winning guidance counselor.
Meier has been an NBA referee and the Ivy League coordinator of women’s basketball officials since 1990. He’s also been a professional magician.
But on Wednesday he was behind bars.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said Meier allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with a 5-year-old female acquaintance. A relative of the victim went to police after observing what the relative felt was inappropriate behavior, Gainer reported.
The victim then provided police with specific details regarding alleged sexual activity that happened between the two.
Meier was Esvin Soto’s guidance counselor for four years. Soto said he still cannot believe the charges.
“I didn’t see anything wrong with him at all,” Soto said. “It was tragic. I was devastated. Who would do something like that?”
Parents at the school said they were notified of the arrest through their kids — not school officials.
“She’s upset. She said you never know who we talk to,” parent Luceane Garrido said of her daughter.
The school district superintendent said if and when Meier is indicted he will be formally suspended without pay, per New Jersey state law, Gainer reported.
At Meier’s home in Teaneck, a woman who identified herself as his wife wouldn’t comment.
“No, honey, I don’t want to talk,” the woman told Gainer.
Gainer: “Are you sure?”
Woman: “I’m positive. Positive.”
Gainer then asked the woman if there was anything she would want the public to know, only to have the home’s upstairs window shut.
One neighbor who did not want to appear on camera said he was shocked by the allegations. As for Meier, he remained at the Bergen County Jail with bail set at $250,000.
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