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Triton Teachers, Administrators Charged in Sex Scandal

Three Triton teachers are charged with engaging in sexual activity with former students, and two administrators, including Principal Catherine DePaul, with not reporting what they knew.

Editor's note: For a fuller version of this story, read .

 

Three Triton Regional High School teachers have been charged with having sexual relationships with now-former students, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office announced Thursday.

The teachers—Jeffrey Logandro, Nicholas Martinelli and Daniel Michielli—have been placed on administrative leave.

Logandro, of Deptford, and Michielli, of Blackwood, are charged with a number of sex crimes for contact with alleged underaged victims. 

Martinelli, of Cherry Hill, has only been charged with official misconduct, as his alleged victim was 18 at the time. 

Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk noted the investigation is ongoing, saying the probe has thus far uncovered "individual and personal moral, ethical and legal failures on the part of the charged teachers and administrators at Triton High School."

"Our investigation revealed that despite rules and regulations prohibiting it, the improper relationships between the teachers and students were fostered through social media as well as socializing in person outside the school," Faulk said. "Indeed, we uncovered evidence of exchanges of sexually explicit text messages during instructional periods."

(Click on the PDF, right, to read the complaints against the five people charged.)

One of the teachers drove his alleged victim to Ocean City during spring break and fraternized with the girl and other students there, Faulk said.

Also charged in connection with the prosecutor's office probe are Triton principal Catherine DePaul and vice principal Jernee Kollock, who allegedly knew about the teachers' relationships with the students, but did not report them to authorities.

A female student told a substitute teacher at Triton that teachers and students were engaging in sexual activity in April. That information was forwarded to DePaul.

According to a probable cause statement, DePaul told investigators she had tried to protect the teachers from the consequences of their actions, the prosecutor's office said.

The three teachers were placed on administrative leave by Black Horse Pike Regional School District at separate times in the investigation late this summer and earlier in the school year.

Black Horse Pike Regional School District Superintendent John Golden issued a written statement:

Let me be clear, we have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior of any kind. As educators and community members nothng is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students.

Golden added that the district is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and is offering counseling to any students who need it.

The three former students—all females—reportedly graduated from the Runnemede school in June 2012. They have not been identified.

Logandro and Michielli's alleged victims were 17.

Logandro is charged with criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and official misconduct. Michielli is charged with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and official misconduct.

Faulk noted Martinelli's victim was 18 when the alleged misconduct occurred, resulting in the lesser charge against him.

Martinelli "is charged only with official misconduct because his victim was 18 years of age when he engaged in the improper relations with her," the prosecutor said.

All five educators were arrested today and released on their own recognizance pending initial court appearances, which have been scheduled for Oct. 11.

The investigation reportedly has cast a pall over the school through the first few weeks of the 2012-13 year.

Martinelli, 28, a physical education teacher at the school, was the school's boys' soccer coach through the 2011 season, but is no longer on the sidelines for the Mustangs this season.

While attending Rowan University in Glassboro in 2005, Martinelli was a first-team selection to the New Jersey Athletic Conference's Men's Soccer All-Conference Team. 

In August of this year, he was on the staff of a soccer academy at Williamstown High School for girls ages 13-18. 

Logandro, 32, a math teacher at Triton, was the school's girls' track coach as of the end of the spring 2012 season. Before coming to Triton, Logandro was a math teacher at Cherry Hill East High School. 

Michielli, 27, also a math teacher, was Triton's Class of 2012 adviser.

Gloucester Township Police Department was not involved in the investigation.

Triton is part of the Black Horse Pike Regional School District. The school draws students from three Camden County towns: Bellmawr, Gloucester Township and Runnemede, where the school is located. About 1,600 students attend Triton. 

(Patch editors Lauren Burgoon, Bryan Littel, Christina Paciolla and Tim Zatzariny Jr. contributed to this report.)

For more on the Triton teacher-student sex charges, visit:

  • Suspended Triton Educators Still Drawing Paychecks?
  • [UPDATE] Triton Teachers Under Investigation
John Reynolds October 05, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Not that he had anything to do with this, but does anyone know what happened to the former principal, Ed Stahl? I went to school with him. He was a nice guy.
Carole Parker October 05, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Carole Parker I am sorry but the adults should be fired! This is totally unacceptable - they have broken the trust that the community has given them. WoW! This is absurd and truly crazy! I feel bad for the school systems and the children.
Schu October 06, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Firing a good teacher to make room for a pervert who seduces an underage student. BHPRSD really exemplified outstanding character and intelligent decision making skills.
mathforeveryone October 06, 2012 at 02:24 AM
If all of the kids in the school were aware it was taking place, why didn't another teacher pick up the phone and call authorities. Why was it a substitute teacher who was told about it? Did the children know that the other teachers were aware of it and turning their heads? This is really worse than it looks if you dig a little deeper. Nows the time to clean it up so that parents can feel comfortable sending their kids into that building. It's hard to believe that no school board members and know teachers and know one from the superintendents office heard any of these rumors. It's a disgrace, you all failed these children!!!!!!!
Lorelei October 06, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Ed Stahl retired a few years ago. He was a nice guy and my favorite English teacher many moons ago.
Schu October 06, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Amazes me that a student trusted a sub more than their regular teachers. The worst part is I see on the news how much the students want their principal back who covered up a scandal and allowed an illegal relationship to last 7 months. Totally brainwashed these our children. You can make a thousand right moves but it's the one wrong move that people remember you for.
Ric October 06, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Yet, you failed to acknowledge that the bible says god is the creator of all - god created all good and god created all evil. You also failed to acknowledge god is the god of love and you wrong state god is the god of fear. Finally you failed to note that this sort thing also happens at schools run by bible thumpers, most famously by Pentecostal Tony Leyva. Those students believed in god so why did god allow the awful abuse those Pentecostal children suffered occur? God was not absent from their hearts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother_Tony_Leyva. Please, if you are going to preach, know what you are talking about – and learn how to use a spell checker.
rus October 06, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Stephen, your comment sounds logical, but, is indeed, quite hallow given the worldwide, decade-long sex scandal involving hundreds of "God-fearing" priests in the Catholic Church. Do you really think God would protect children in public schools that say prayers, when He couldn't or wouldn't protect the children in the schools that bore His name?
rus October 06, 2012 at 04:15 PM
We, the richest country on Earth, pay our teachers on par with toll collectors while third world nations pass us in educational achievement. Maybe we need to look at the quality of people we're getting for these bargain basement prices. My grandma always said, "You get what you pay for."
tasha d October 07, 2012 at 05:44 AM
All I can say is wow!!!!! This is horrible. It's amazing that teachers are hired to educate our children just to turn around and have inappropriate relationships with them...Wow, absolutely amazing. I will say this much, MOTHERS...FATHERS...LEGAL GUARDIANS...please take the time to talk with your children and make them understand what's right and what's wrong. Although those girls were young and still considered minors but engaging in adult activities, we must all remember that these girls were not innocent at all. Now, don't get me wrong, what happened was a disgrace and should of never happened and not only did the teachers fail those kids, but others who didnt say anything failed those girls, Those girls knew what they were doing as well as the teachers who participated in the relationships that they had with them. My thing is, how in the hell or shall I say, why in the hell would an adult having an inappropriate relationship with a minor, where the minor is willingly engaging in that relationship, think for one second, that child is going to have a closed mouth about it? Come on now, really!!!! We are talking about teenagers here dude...teenage girls for that matter. For a teenage girl to have that sort of a relationship with an adult, it's exciting to them and therefore they are going to tell their friends or mention it to someone. Why the adult in the situation would think that this sort of relationship will be on the hush hush, is as dumb as a box of rocks
mr October 07, 2012 at 05:57 AM
I agree with uniforms but when the GT district tried to implement uniforms which by the way the majority of parents voted for... A few parents threatened to sue the district ... Unbelievable students wear uniforms in Camden but not Here.
mr October 07, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Where is the parenting?
mr October 07, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Were the girls' parents aware of any of this while it happened....
Schu October 08, 2012 at 01:47 AM
This whole situation stinks.
rus October 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
What could you possibly mean by this unpunctuated sentence? Typical perverts are suburbanites? Suburbanites are typical perverts? And every day? I might need to change newspapers because on most days my paper doesn't report crimes like this. Help me out Joe; what do you mean?
Mike King October 08, 2012 at 04:10 PM
At the risk of sounding like the middle aged school marm I am, I suspect none of these young people are looking at this incident the way we are. For example, when I was in HS, a boy grabbing the fanny of a female student sent the the girl to the bathroom in tears, with teams of sympathetic friends who shunned the boy for WEEKS afterward. When the same thing happened to my stepdaughter in the 80s, she gave the boy a withering look and considered the issue resolved - with no stigma attached to her. I think thats key to what the girls are doing here - there is no stigma attached to them and they're right to feel that. The 20 something and 30 something teachers probably took the warnings about fraternizing with students in the same vein as the rule against wearing backless sandals. They've grown up with all kinds of promiscuity out in the open with no stigma attached. Educational leaders and parents will have to instill the missing stigmas against it before they can understand why its so bad.
amd October 09, 2012 at 12:35 AM
How would uniforms stop inappropriate relationships between teachers and students? I doubt if what they wear to school had anything to do the behavior of the teachers or the students or the administration.
Schu October 09, 2012 at 01:07 AM
GT is spineless and caved under the pressure of a few clueless parents who threaten to sue. Most parents wanted the uniforms but this idea failed. I'd even accept a uniform code of polo shirts and dress slacks.
Roger Delgado October 09, 2012 at 01:24 AM
If a few parents threaten to sue unless the Superintendent and President and Vice-President of the school board resign, will they cave and resign or will they fight it?
Stanley Holmes October 09, 2012 at 03:16 AM
The parents were there during the questioning of the children and had knowledge of the contact between the accused individuals and the children involved and told adminstrators that they did not suspect any inappropriate relations so where was the cover up?? Its all a bunch of BS the superintendent should be brought up on charges for being incompetent....
Freedom December 07, 2012 at 11:48 PM
If it was ok for Clinton to behave as he did while he was president, there is no negative stigma attached
rus December 08, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Yeah "C," Shut Up! You can't possibly know what you're talking about! You're just a teacher! You probably spend all day working with students and other teachers; how could you possibly know anything pertinent to this subject? How dare you come on this site and try to present a logical and reasoned defense of these monsters! They have been accused and therefore they are guilty and if you disagree then, like Haddenuff said, ". . .you've got something to camoflage(sic)...(sic)" Listen to Steff and the other people commenting - THEY know! "You should be fired IMMEDIATELY..(sic)you have NO business being a teacher."
Schu December 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Any news about the five criminals still being paid by us the taxpayers. The story has been buried in the recent news like so many times.
GTWatchdawg December 26, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Schu: why not put it in question form directly to Patch. That is what they do, or should do as follow up.
Sean McCullen (Editor) December 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Nope. Nothing new to report. Spoke to the superintendent last week, just before the winter break. No change in the "suspended with pay" status of the five educators. No indictments handed down by a grand jury, no license revocation by the state Department of Education, so there's not much they can do at the local level at this point.
Schu December 26, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Nothing new, they are getting paid to sit around the house and the state dept of ed hasn't revoked their license. Glad to know we're paying their salary for being perverts.
rus December 27, 2012 at 02:29 AM
That's the price of living in a free country. Innocent until proven guilty. And trust me, you wouldn't want it any other way.
Schu December 27, 2012 at 04:23 AM
We are still paying their salaries this comes two and a half month later, these perverts are still collecting a taxpayer funded pay check, amazing how the system works against the good people.
Darren Gladden December 27, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Bring it up tomorrow at the council meeting .......
Michelle Kamstra February 12, 2013 at 05:39 AM
I am a current student at Rasmussen Business College and I am working on a paper about unethical issues going on. I choose this topic because it is very unethical not only what the teachers did but also what the administration did and that was nothing the principle and vice principle wanted to protect the teachers, good looking out both of you. Did they even consider the students and what they wanted? If any of this was consensual then why not wait until after the day they graduated I mean come on. Our schools are supposed to be safe from such things. If we cannot trust the administration then who can we trust when our kids are in school and what are they learning. I am just saying. MK

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