Watch CBS News

After Recent Arrest, Total Of 4 Plum High School Teacher's Arrested, 3 On Sex Charges

PLUM (KDKA/AP) -- A third teacher at Plum High School has been accused of having sex with a student, bringing the number of teachers arrested at the school since the beginning of the year, to four.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. on Tuesday announced the arrest of a substitute teacher at Plum High School.

Zappala said the arrest of the substitute, identified in a criminal complaint as Michael Cinefra of Verona, was unrelated to the other two cases involving teachers at the school.

"Evidence has been developed which indicates that another teacher, a part-time teacher employed by the Plum Borough School District, has committed several crimes," said Zappala. "The victim at the time the first crime was committed was 15-years-old and a student at Plum Borough. Because of this person's continued access to high school students, he was an online cyber school teacher; the grand jury felt it was necessary to make this recommendation to initiate prosecution at this point."

The grand jury has chraged Cinefra with sex crimes against a student and nine counts of sexual abuse with the 15-year-old student.

The crimes alleged against Cinefra include involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and institutional sexual assault.

A 15-year-old girl who first encountered Cinefra during her freshman year is the alleged victim.

And the grand jury was explicit in its descriptions of what happened.

While she was a freshman, according to the grand jury, he "...purchased a bottle of Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka for Jane Doe...she then performed (a sex act) on Cinefra..."

"On approximately 10 occasions Jane Doe and Cinefra met in various classrooms throughout Plum Senior High School where Cinefra had kissed and touched her body."

That information coupled with Cinefra's most recent employment at a cyber school made the grand jury act now.

"Because of this person's continued access to high school students, he was an online cyber school teacher, the grand jury felt it was necessary to make its recommendation to initiate prosecution at this point," said Zappala.

The Plum Borough School District has released a statement about the arrest. They say Cinefra "previously performed day-­to-­day substitute services as both a teacher and a custodian," and is also the former ninth grade baseball coach.

The district also says he has not been a substitute since the 2013-2014 school year, and is not affiliated with any cyber classes within the district.

The statement says in part: "Until his arrest, no Administrators received complaints regarding the allegations that led to Mr. Cinefra's arrest. We are shocked by these findings and take these matter very seriously."

It goes on to say, "We have been surprised and disappointed at the alleged behavior of a few bad actors among hundreds of outstanding and dedicated professionals we entrust with out students."

To read the full statement, click here.

Forty-year-old Joseph Ruggieri and 38-year-old Jason Cooper were earlier charged with institutional sex assault and with witness intimidation.

Witness intimidation charges were also filed against 40-year-old teacher Drew Zoldak, who is accused of having singled out in class a student who had accused Ruggieri.

The D.A. says he is continuing to investigate the cases at Plum High School.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.