PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new charge has been filed against one of the Plum High School teachers accused of having sex with a student.
Police have filed an additional charge of witness intimidation against Joseph Ruggieri after bizarre emails surfaced.
Investigators say it appears the emails were written in some sort of code.
Ruggieri, 40, was arrested in February on institutional sexual assault and corruption of a minor charges.
According to the criminal complaint, a female student told police Ruggieri, a teacher, invited her to his home, where they had sex on several occasions.
Ruggieri had already been charged with one count of witness intimidation in April. This additional charge involves the same female student and alleges that he tried to influence her not to testify.
Detectives say the emails contained stories, and songs with at least 48-coded references that, “reach far beyond any coincidences.”
Investigators say Ruggieri created new email addresses and sent the communications from a school issued laptop.
One of the emails allegedly was in the form of a story, with coded references to the sexual relationship between him and the student.
The story contained what appear to be specific instructions not to testify against Ruggieri.
The criminal complaint contains an example which says, “Then sweetie, stop running away. You can go across the country, but it won’t be far enough to escape what you really want… You’ll always feel cold and lonely inside without him.”
Meanwhile, a grand jury is looking at the possibility of eight victims at the high school.
Ruggieri was arraigned late Monday night on $75,000 straight cash bond.
A clerk says Ruggieri hasn’t posted bail and has been taken to the Allegheny County Jail.
Stay With KDKA.com For More Details