Trial for Teacher in Sex Case Accused of Intimidating Witness

A suspended western Pennsylvania English teacher accused of having had sex with a student has been ordered to stand trial on charges that he tried to intimidate the girl by contacting her with a school-issued laptop.

Forty-year-old Joseph Ruggieri was suspended from the Plum school district after his February arrest. He was arrested again in March and accused of contacting the teenager by phone and through Internet video chat.

Ruggieri was arrested once again last month and accused of having violated a court order by contacting the student via email in April and May.

Defense attorney Anthony DeLuca argued Wednesday before District Judge Linda Zucco that the alleged victim should have been present to give testimony rather than only a borough detective.

Ruggieri is to be formally arraigned Sept. 15

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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