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Third Triton Teacher in Student Sex Case Pleads Guilty

Nicholas Martinelli immediately resigned his teaching position at Triton after the guilty plea.

Triton Regional High School teacher Nick Martinelli admitted in court Thursday to hindering an investigation into his alleged improper relationship with a student, and immediately resigned his position.

Martinelli, 28, pleaded guilty in Superior Court to fourth-degree hindering apprehension. As part of the plea, he’ll be sentenced to probation and will forfeit his teaching certificate in New Jersey. Martinelli, who was ordered not to have contact with the victim, will learn the exact terms of his sentence April 12.

In a statement of probable cause to charge Martinelli, the 18-year-old student told police she and the teacher had sex and had kissed and touched each other sexually. Martinelli was a physical education teacher at Triton and coached boys soccer through the 2011 season.

The now former Triton teacher is the third to plead guilty to charges surrounding a teacher-student sex scandal that rocked the high school last year. Jeff Logandro, 32, of Blackwood, and Daniel Michielli, 27, of Blackwood, both pleaded guilty last month and will be sentenced Friday. Both face 30 days in jail or house arrest.

Ex-principal Catherine DePaul also already pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation. Charges against vice principal Jernee Kollock, 39, of Williamstown, are pending.

Martinelli, of the 300 block of Windsor Drive in Cherry Hill, was charged with the least serious crimes among the teachers because his victim was 18 at the time. He admitted in court Thursday to impeding an investigation into his improper relationship with the student by telling her to keep their association secret, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.

Triton has dealt with the fallout of the scandal since it came to light in October 2012. All four educators who pleaded guilty thus far did so to lesser charges. All five of those charged continued to receive paychecks, which is required by law, during their suspensions. 

The Black Horse Pike Regional School District paid more than $95,000 to DePaul, Logandro and Michielli through their guilty pleas. Martinelli will now stop drawing a paycheck, while Kollock is eligible to be paid until any indictment or conviction. 

The three students involved in the case, whose identities haven't been released, filed a tort notice announcing their intention to potentially sue the school district over the matter. All of the teens graduated from Triton in 2012.

For past coverage of the Triton Teacher-Student Sex Scandal, see: 

 

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Angie Jones March 15, 2013 at 12:25 AM
So, I am in no way trying to blame the victims here, but suing? really? These weren't 11 or 12 year old girls. They were high school seniors. They knew what they were doing. Clearly the teachers and administrators broke the law and violated the trust of all of the students, parents and citizens of GT, but the girls are not completely innocent, sorry. This will send a great message. Screw your teacher, get paid. Great.
Paul J. DiBartolo March 15, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Maybe it'll also send a message to the teachers...don't screw around.
Greg March 15, 2013 at 02:44 AM
School District Hires PR Firm in Wake of Triton Sex Scandal No wonder this story has been contained from going on CNN Braithwaite Communications, of Philadelphia, handles media inquiries in wake of Camden County Prosecutor's Office Hopefully the Families sue and send a message just like you said Paul, teachers, don't screw around. How disgraceful
T.T. March 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM
So basically the girls are going to be paid for sex with the teachers. If the lawsuit settles. I thought prostitution was illegal!....Those girls knew exactly what they were dpi g. That is typical of how shallow peoples mindset are today!
Paul J. DiBartolo March 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Of course they knew what they were doing. What shell have you been living under? There is enough blame to go around here for everybody, I don't think anybody has ever denied that, but the guilt of one does not excuse the guilt of another. Bottom line, you're a teacher; there are certain rules you have to live by. Oh, you didn't know when you took the job that the students were off limits? Guess what, ignorance of the law is no excuse when you break it. Not only did these teachers break a trust with the students under their care but they broke trust with the taxpayers who employed them and now it will cost us more than they were ever worth. Get used to living in the Litigious States of America...you can usually find a judge and a jury willing to give you something you didn't earn and the U.S. taxpayer has deep pockets. No amount of honey smeared on this situation by the P.R. firm will make it any sweeter.
Charles Mihalitsch March 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Couldn't agree more Paul. There were many comments on here a couple of weeks ago concerning the families of the girls suing with people ripping the girls and going as far as calling them whores. I'm sure these girls were flirtatious with the teachers and throwing vibes that they were interested but on my opinion the teachers are completely at fault and broke the trust of the students and te parents of the students. The fact that the administrators tried to sweep it under the carpet makes it much worse.
Dave's Stache March 15, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Why is no one questioning the members of the school board. They helped cover this up. No teacher or administrator can be transferred without the cooperation of the superintendent and a vote by the school board. What did they know and when did they know it. If they know about the principal and vice principal covering for the teachers and still were silent and approved the transfer to Timber Creek, not only should all nine resign but should be investigated and prosecuted. NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS VOTING. Either they are incompetent and didn't know what they were doing or they are evil and coveted up a disgusting incident, either way each member of the BHPRSD BOE must answer serious questions.
True Dat March 15, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Completely agree, Stache. However, the Camden County Prosecutor has already stated that the investigation into this case is complete; the investigation has left him confident in saying that the criminal misconduct was limited to those five charged. So, no one else will be prosecuted. Something doesn't quite seem right about that.
Karen Bass March 15, 2013 at 04:19 PM
As a mental health professional who has to abide by ethical and professional codes, and has studied the reasons behind the codes, even if an ADULT comes on to a person who is in a position of power over that adult such as a therapist or teacher, the teacher is at complete fault since he or she has taken advantage of their position of power over the victim for their own needs and because the victim sees that person as someone they look up to and trust they have their safety and best interests at heart. So even though its much worse with young children it is still detrimental to adults as well. Even 17 and 18 yr olds have not quite matured to a true adult level.
Schu March 15, 2013 at 07:58 PM
On a similar topic, we the taxpayers are on the hook to pay for depaul's pension for the rest of her life.
Lauren Burgoon March 15, 2013 at 08:04 PM
I think the state has yet to rule on that - unless I missed something.
Paul J. DiBartolo March 15, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Yea, kinda like Clinton, in his fifties and the most powerful man in the world, taking advantage of Monica Lewinsky, a 22-year old, lowly governement intern. What did he get? The admiration of all the liberals and all the women's groups who screamed about Clarence Thomas said not one thing about Clinton's escapades.
Angie Jones March 16, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Don't get me wrong, I'm a parent. If the teachers had engaged in these acts with my kids, I would be beyond livid. I guess I just don't see how litigation will be a future deterrent. It's not like this hasn't happened before. We need to find the RIGHT deterrent!
Paul J. DiBartolo March 16, 2013 at 11:34 PM
It's not a deterrent, it's a punishment. The deterrent is the fear of punishment...maybe the state should figure out a way to dissociate itself from those who do this so they alone will be liable for the civil penalty instead of the taxpayer. One thing is for certain, these individuals should never hold a public job again. Fool me once...

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