MONTGOMERY — A teacher's aide at a private special-education school has been accused of raping a teenage girl in the school building.

Prosecutors say Daniel E. Fowler, 35, engaged in sexually explicit text messages with the 17-year-old girl before the assault at East Mountain School.

The Lawrence resident was arrested last Monday after the incident was reported to township police on Aug. 30, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.

Fowler was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, second-degree sexual assault, and third-degree degree witness tampering.

A spokeswoman for the school, which is operated by the Carrier Clinic, said Fowler was removed from his job and after the allegations were reported.

"We are deeply concerned about this situation and are taking it very seriously. Full cooperation was and continues to be provided to the Montgomery Police Department and Somerset County Prosecutor's Office regarding the investigation," according to the statement provided by the school Thursday. "The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority."

Fowler was being held Thursday at Somerset County Jail while waiting for a hearing.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Thursday whether Fowler had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to show that Fowler was charged with second-degree sexual assault. An earlier version of the article included incorrect information provided by authorities.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor of New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at 609-359-5348 or