Scott Rubinetti, a physical education teacher and head football coach at Lyndhurst High School in New Jersey, stands accused of sexual assault, child endangerment and witness tampering on Tuesday.
Rubinetti, 39, is charged with having a sexual relationship with a female student from 2009 through 2010. The alleged victim was a 17-year-old senior at the time.
His case marks the second arrest this month in Bergen County, N.J., where a teacher is accused of having sexual relations with a student. A Park Ridge math teacher Joseph Greco was arrested Jan. 5 for having a sexual relationship with a high school junior in 2010.
'He told her to lie.'
Rubinetti, a graduate of Lyndhurst, was reported to the authorities when another teacher caught wind of the alleged relationship.
The alleged victim in this investigation was located and confirmed inappropriate sexual conduct between her and Rubinetti, prosecutor John L. Molinelli and Lyndhurst Police Chief James O'Connor said Wednesday in a joint statement.
Even worse for Rubinetti, who authorities say is married, is what the teacher is accused of doing when the investigation was underway.
During the course of the investigation, Rubinetti is alleged to have contact the victim in this investigation, the statement read. [He] told her to lie to law enforcement if questioned regarding their inappropriate sexual conduct with each other.
According to the Gothamist, the accused is currently out on $150,000 bail he posted through a bail bondsman. He is barred from any contact with the alleged victim or her family.
'It just feels right.'
Before Scott Rubinetti came to Lyndhurst High School, where he teaches several other courses besides physical education, he was a football coach at Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest.
When he was hired by his alma mater, he was ecstatic.
I am going home to an old-school football town, and I'm excited about that, The Star-Ledger quoted him as saying. It just feels right.
Rubinetti is currently suspended without pay by the school district. Schools Superintendent Tracy Marinelli said Thursday that the school board is planning to meet in an executive session to discuss the arrest next week.
Before Lyndhurst High School officials can figure out how to address Scott Rubinetti's employee status, however, they have to deal with their students.
Rubinetti was arrested on campus and taken away in handcuffs. Students told reporters that officials held an assembly this week to address the rumors swirling about their football coach's misconduct, but many refuse to believe their physical education teacher is guilty.
ABC News talked to a number of students and parents in the aftermath of Rubinetti's arrest.
I don't think he would do something like that, said high school sophomore Massimo Sarracino. He's a nice guy, he's friendly.
Around campus, at least five students have been spotted wearing Free Rubinetti T-shirts. Nor are kids the only ones who doubt the victim's claims.
He's born and raised here, I knew him as a kid, said Frank Mezzina, a Lyndhurst parent.
I would never have thought he would do something like that. I'll wait for all the facts to come out.
Other students at Lyndhurst High School, however, say Scott Rubinetti was always a little too familiar with the girls in his classes.
They see what he does, Andre Bernaro, a senior, told ABC. He does look at the girls all funny and stuff. How he would talk to them, it would be almost like a flirting level.
No Comment From Authorities
As facts continue to be gathered in the Rubinetti case, local authorities and school staff are keeping mum on the details of the case.
Bergen County authorities declined to comment, and the Lyndhurst Police Department referred all questions regarding the investigation to the prosecutor's office, which in turn claimed there was no additional information in the case.
According to NorthJersey.com, several Lyndhurst High School staff members have been instructed by the administration not to speak to the press. Leaders of the district PTA and booster club did not return phone calls made on Thursday.