Teachers, principal guilty in sex case

Feb. 12, 2013 at 3:14 PM
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RUNNEMEDE, N.J., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Two New Jersey teachers and their former principal pleaded guilty to charges stemming from sexual conduct with students and a failure to report it to police.

The teachers, Jeff Logandro, 32, and Dan Michielli, 27, have forfeited their right to be a teacher or government employee in New Jersey for life and face 30 days jail time or home confinement followed by probation when sentenced in March.

As part of their plea agreements, more serious charges against the two of criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of children were dropped. A charge of sexual assault against Michielli also was dropped, The Philadelphia Inquirer said Tuesday.

Their former principal at Triton Regional High School in Runnemede, Catherine DePaul, 55, pleaded guilty to official misconduct after she failed to immediately notify law enforcement or child protective services when the abuse came to her attention.

Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Brown Jr. declined DePaul's request to have her guilty plea include immunity from civil lawsuits. She will serve a year of probation.

"There is a bond between teachers and principals and students," Brown said. "It's a sacred bond, a bond of trust. You have violated that bond."

A student confided in a substitute teacher about the sexual relationships among Logandro, Michielli and a third teacher, Nick Martinelli, 28, and female students at the school. The substitute teacher told DePaul, but she acted to defend the teachers rather than report the incident to law enforcement, prosecutors said.

Martinelli and the school's vice principal, Jernee Kollock, 39, also charged with official misconduct, are still awaiting trial.

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