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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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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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