Three teachers at Triton Regional High School in Runnemede, N.J., have been charged with official misconduct for having inappropriate sexual relations with three now-former female students last year, two of whom were under 18, the Courier-Post reports. The school’s principal and vice principal have also been charged with official misconduct for covering up the allegations, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday.
All five have been suspended from the school and could each face at least five years in prison if convicted.
Gloucester Township Patch reports that 32-year-old Jeff Logandro, a math teacher and also the girls’ cross country coach as of the end of the spring 2012 season, is charged with criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and official misconduct. Daniel Michielli, 27, a fellow math teacher and also Triton’s Class of 2012 advisor, is charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and official misconduct.
Nicholas Martinelli, a 28-year-old physical education teacher and boys’ soccer coach through the 2011 season, is reportedly only charged with official misconduct because his victim was 18 at the time.
The three teachers allegedly engaged in sexual activity with the students on several occasions between November 2011 and June 2012, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. Prosecutors say the teachers socialized with the girls outside of school and communicated with them via social media and texts during instructional periods, a violation of school policy.
According to Patch, Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk said one of the accused teachers drove his alleged victim to Ocean City during spring break and fraternized with her and other students there, while also exchanging sexually explicit text messages.
Catherine DePaul, the school’s principal, was made aware of the allegations in April, after a substitute teacher forwarded information from a female student reporting that students and teachers were "hooking up." According to a probable cause statement, DePaul told investigators she had tried to protect the teachers.
When DePaul asked the student in question to write a statement, Triton’s vice principal, Jernee Kollock, allegedly dictated what she should write and corrected her version of events, reports the Daily News.
The three teachers were placed on administrative leave by Black Horse Pike Regional School District at separate times during the investigation late this summer and earlier this school year, according to the Courier-Post. The alleged victims are believed to have graduated from Triton in June.