Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Settled: Winslow Township School District Agrees to $6 Million Settlement With Former Teacher

A hallway is seen at Lincoln Park High School, a school for pregnant students and young mothers, in Brownsville, Texas, on November 1, 2023. Veronica G. CARDENAS.

Winslow Township Schools has reached a $6 million settlement with two former students who claimed they were sexually assaulted for years by a former high school teacher who treated them to money and fancy restaurant outings.

This is considered the largest civil settlement by a public school district in New Jersey since the state passed a law in 2019 that extended the statute of limitations to allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers up until they turn 55.

“These settlements are crucial,” stated John Baldante, a Haddonfield attorney representing both victims set to receive $3 million each in a structured settlement. “These survivors of child sex abuse now have a platform.”

Michael Delguercio and Matthew Grossman, former students of Edgewood High School, expressed their relief that the case has been settled after filing individual civil lawsuits in 2021. They were eager to share their experiences in order to inspire other victims of sexual abuse to think about speaking up.

“I feel like I’m not walking around with a burden anymore,” expressed Delguercio, 44, of Atco. I feel liberated by being completely truthful about this. I am not at fault. When I was a child.

Delguercio and Grossman filed lawsuits within weeks of each other claiming they were assaulted by Nicholas Zaccaria, a social studies and history teacher at Edgewood, which is now known as Winslow Township High School, between 1998 and 2003.

Zaccaria was involved in advising the theater, and the teenagers were part of the stage crew club. Both individuals mentioned they were too traumatized to speak up until recently. Since the statute of limitations had passed for criminal charges, they decided to file civil lawsuits instead.

Former Teacher Accused of Disturbing Behavior Towards Students

This photograph taken on January 22, 2023 shows the courtroom of Lyon’s courthouse on the opening day of a trial for the 2017 robbery of a cash transport van in Switzerland worth an estimated 40 million Swiss Francs.


Both men claimed they were victims of Zaccaria’s sexual abuse, as stated in their legal complaints. Zaccaria, also known as “Mr. Z.” by students, reportedly took them out to dinner individually at steak houses and Italian restaurants. According to them, Zaccaria, a well-liked teacher, provided them with funds from the stage crew’s petty cash account.

The lawsuits state that Zaccaria emotionally manipulated and frequently touched, kissed, and sexually abused students at the school and on school property.

His concerning and disturbing actions involved both obvious and subtle interactions with vulnerable children as a way to groom, manipulate, and make such behavior seem normal.

When contacted at his residence in Clementon, Zaccaria, 75, chose not to provide a statement. Delguercio mentioned knowing Grossman back when they were students, but he was not aware of Grossman experiencing similar abuses.

They were brought back together by mutual acquaintances following legal action against the district and Zaccaria.

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The settlements were approved by the Winslow school board in December, with no admission of liability. Superintendent H. Major Poteat refused to provide a statement, stating that the reported incidents took place before he became the school chief. 

The lawsuit also listed the Lower Camden County Regional School District as defendants, which was dissolved in 2001. The district was accused of negligence and failing to protect the students.

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