POINT PLEASANT — Matthew Marinelli, 23, of Point Pleasant Borough, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and witness tampering in regards to incidents that occurred back in April and May earlier this year.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer, in a July 7 statement, said that Mr. Marinelli “sent nude photographs of himself and engaged in communications that were sexual in nature with a student in one of his classes.” This was determined through an investigation done through the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit.
Mr. Marinelli was employed as a substitute teacher at Point Pleasant Borough High School. He had been in contact with the victim through a variety of social messaging applications. The prosecutor’s office did not specify what apps were being used.
The investigation also revealed that after being terminated from the high school, Mr. Marinelli contacted the victim multiple times asking that she deny having contact with him, and to delete any communications and photographs he had sent to her.
The Point Pleasant School District declined a request for on the charges but issued an email to all parents and faculty of the district stating, “when the district learned of these allegations, local, county and state authorities were notified immediately, and the substitute teacher was immediately directed off school grounds.”
On July 7, detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit search Mr. Marinelli’s residence via a court-authorized search warrant.
Detectives and prosecutors seized “multiple electronic devices that [Mr.] Marinelli possessed at the residence,” according to the press release.
Mr. Marinelli was then taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail. He is currently being lodged pending a detention hearing.
“I would encourage parents to have a conversation with their children if they had Mr. Marinelli as a substitute teacher at Point Pleasant Borough High School. If anyone has additional information regarding Mr. Marinelli or this investigation, please contact Detective Jason LaRaia of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-929-2027, extension 3758,” Prosecutor Billhimer said in his July 7 statement.
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