PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The latest teacher charged in connection with sex crimes in the Plum School District was in court this morning with his lawyer and waived his case to trial.
Michael Cinefra was a substitute teacher in plum from October 2010 to June of 2014. The criminal complaint says Cinefra became involved in a relationship with a student when she was 15. He eventually provided her with alcohol and had her perform sex acts.
His attorney, Patrick Thomassey, says it's his opinion that there could be more charges in the case involving administrators as the grand jury looks into who knew what and when.
Rather than be confronted with the girl's testimony at a preliminary hearing, Cinefra waived his right to the hearing, electing to send the case to trial.
"We waived the case to court," said Thomassey. "There was nothing to be gained by cross-examining this young lady at this point. If she said something happened, the law would require the case just to be held for court. So, rather than do that, we waived our right to a preliminary hearing and sent the case into formal arraignment."
Cinefra is also affiliated with a cyber school on the city's South Side, but Thomassey says while Cinefra's status hasn't changed there, that's still an issue yet to be settled.
In November, he will be formally arraigned on charges including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and institutional sexual assault of a minor.
Last night, the Plum School Board came under fire about the ongoing teacher sex scandal.
Bill Chapla, whose son attends Plum High School, stared directly at Board President Sal Colella and Superintendent Timothy Glasspool and said, "Four teachers arrested, and a grand jury investigation, and you have nothing to say?"
Board member Tom McGough, who is chairman of the board's Safe Schools Committee, responded, saying, "Do we have a safe environment? I believe we do."
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