Hopewell High School teacher accused of sexting, touching student
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A Hopewell High School Teacher is scheduled to be arraigned today on charges of felony sexual abuse this week after the Pennsylvania attorney general's office said he sexted a student and asked her to send him nude pictures beginning in her sophomore year then inappropriately touched her in the classroom a year later.
Also a high school baseball coach, Joseph A. Rubino, 37, of Aliquippa, has been charged with three counts of sexual abuse of children, two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, criminal solicitation, institutional sexual assault and other related charges.
According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Rubino began texting the student when she was a sophomore. At first friendly, the messages became sexual, according to the complaint.
Mr. Rubino told police the sexual conversations were mutual, according to the complaint. The exchanges continued through early fall of her senior year, according to the complaint.
The girl, now 18, also said Mr. Rubino would touch her breasts or buttocks in the classroom with his hands or with a yardstick, which the teacher admitted to police that he did, sometimes also with a ruler or newspaper, according to the complaint.
The teacher also said he asked the student on two occasions to text pictures of her breasts, which she told police she did, and another time, to send a photo of her buttocks, according to the complaint.
She told police that image came from Google, according to the complaint.
Mr. Rubino told police he asked the girl for "sexual favors" several times, the complaint reads, but "none of these came to fruition."
At one point, Mr. Rubino texted the student that she was on "bio 2 probation" until she sent him pictures of her breasts, according to the complaint.
"I am dead serious," he wrote, according to the complaint. "If you send a pic or show them to you (sic), I will start helping again. Show them to me."
He continued sending inappropriate texts until about 3:30 p.m. that day, according to the complaint.
Mr. Rubino also rewarded the student with hall passes to get out class and "high-end" school baseball uniform shirts, according to the complaint. The girl also said Mr. Rubino invited her to his home on several occasions and once offered her Grey Goose vodka, according to the complaint.
The student told school officials in September about the text messages. The final text Mr. Rubino sent the girl was sent the night before, when he was tipped off by a fellow teacher a student had reported his conduct, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, the text reads: "I promise you that I am done texting you and done bothering you. I will help you in any way I can. just please make sure this girl keeps her mouth shut. I am sorry and it won't happen again. See you when you are back in school."
Mr. Rubino also told police he asked one other female student to send pictures of her breasts, according to the complaint.
In an unsigned prepared statement, Hopewell Area School District officials said Mr. Rubino is on unpaid leave. The district has "initiated appropriate employment procedures," according the statement, which does not elaborate.
District officials "still cannot discuss the matter" even though it became public through the criminal complaint, according to the statement.
First Published January 23, 2013 1:33 pm