Local/State

Former Triton High School teacher pleads guilty in student sex case

Friday, March 15, 2013

A former Triton High School teacher has pleaded guilty to charges related to inappropriate activities with a student.

28-year-old Nick Martinelli of Cherry Hill admitted in court Thursday to attempting to impede the progress of an investigation into an improper relationship he maintained with a Triton High School student by telling the student to keep their association secret from investigators.

Martinelli pleaded guilty to 4th degree Hindering Apprehension. He was not, however, charged with any child abuse or sex crime offenses because the female student he was involved with was over the age of 18 at the time.

He immediately resigned his position with the Black Horse Pike School District.

As part of his plea agreement, Martinelli will be sentenced to a term of probation to be determined by the judge and will forfeit his teaching certificate in New Jersey. Martinelli must also not make contact with the victim in the case.

Martinelli will be sentenced on April 12.

Two other teachers, 32-year-old Jeff Logandro and 27-year-old Daniel Michielli of Blackwood, each pleaded guilty to a count of 3rd degree Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct in February.

They are scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

55-year-old Catherine DePaul of Woodbury, the high school's former principal, was sentenced in February to a disorderly persons offense for Failure to Report a Crime.

In April 2012, a female student told a substitute teacher at the school that there were teachers engaging in sexual contact with students.

The substitute reported this information to DePaul, who police say failed to contact local law enforcement or the State Division of Children and Families about the allegations.

Back in February, through her attorney, DePaul made brief remarks of regret for failing to immediately report known child sex abuse within her high school.

One other defendant in the case is still facing charges. 39-year-old Jernee Kollock of Williamstown, a vice-principal at the school, is charged with Official Misconduct.

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