PLUM (KDKA) – A Plum teacher is facing witness intimidation charges in relation to an ongoing investigation of a former teacher having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Joseph Ruggieri, 40, was arrested in February on institutional sexual assault and corruption of a minor charges.READ MORE: Salvation Army Holding Back-To-School Bash
According to the criminal complaint, a female student told police Ruggieri invited her to his home, where they had sex on several occasions.
A witness intimidation charge was added later when he contacted the victim several times using FaceTime.
Now, another teacher, Drew Zoldak, 40, has been charged with intimidating the victim.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police she was singled out by Zoldak during a forensics class at Plum High School on April 20.
Zoldak addressed the class and allegedly said, “The reason I wasn’t here on Friday is because two men in suits from the District Attorney’s Office were asking me hundreds of questions.”
At that time, a student asked why he was being questioned. Zoldak allegedly responded, “because of her,” and pointed in the victim’s direction.
Later, Zoldak called the victim to the front of the class and asked, “if she would be okay regarding next week’s topic, which was sexual assault.”READ MORE: PPG Paints Arena Recommending Masks Inside
The victim’s name had not been made public prior to this incident.
It was later determined that Zoldak had been interviewed by two female detectives, not “two men in suits,” and that he scheduled the meeting.
During that interview, “Zoldak implied to the detectives that the victim was partly responsible for the offense, stating, ‘It takes two to tango.’”
As a result, Zoldak has been charged with two counts of intimidation of a witness or victim.
On Wednesday, a second Plum teacher accused of having sex with a student was ordered to stand trial.
Jason Cooper, 38, was arrested back in February on charges that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with an 18-year-old female student.
He was ordered to stand trial on all counts.
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