A 23-year-old substitute teacher at Point Pleasant Borough High School has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and witness tampering after police say he sent nude photos of himself to a student, then asked her to deny the incident after being fired.
Matthew Marinelli, 23, of Point Pleasant Borough, was charged this week for the incidents, which occurred in April and May, according to prosecutors.
An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit determined that Marinelli – while employed as a substitute teacher at the high school – sent nude photographs of himself and “engaged in communications that were sexual in nature with a student in one of his classes,” a statement said.
The communications were made through internet messaging applications. The investigation also revealed that after being terminated from his employment at the high school, 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 statement went on to say.
On Friday, detectives from the prosecutor’s office and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department executed a court-authorized search warrant at Marinelli’s residence. As a result, detectives seized “multiple electronic devices that Marinelli possessed at the residenc,” according to the statement.
Marinelli was taken into custody and transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he is currently 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,” said Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
Anyone who may have additional information regarding Marinelli or the investigation is being asked to contact Detective Jason LaRaia of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732- 929-2027, ext. 3758.