Close Window

Plum High School Teacher "Groomed" Student for Sex

It has been well-reported that two teachers at Plum High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were carrying on sexual relationship with their students. What's worse, Plum School District officials are accused of covering up the sexual relationships. A Plum board member recently resigned over the District's response to the allegations, claiming he reported high-school English teacher Joseph Ruggieri for inappropriate behavior with students years ago. Ruggieri has since been charged with multiple crimes for having sex with a Plum student.

The Plum teachers accused of having sex with their students have not denied the allegations. Their defense: the girls were 18, so the relationships were not illegal. Under Pennsylvania law, however, it is illegal for a teacher to engage in a sexual relationship with a student, regardless of the student's age. In addition, the Allegheny County District Attorney's office has filed papers outlining how one teacher, Jason Cooper, allegedly "groomed" his victim for sex well before she turned 18.

Cooper's alleged grooming is significant for another reason. Under Pennsylvania law, a victim of "childhood" sexual abuse has until their thirtieth birthday to file a civil claim arising from that abuse. If the Plum victims were 18 when their abuse began, their claims will expire two years from the initial abuse. If, however, the girls were subject to inappropriate behavior before their 18th birthdays, they may have until they turn thirty to sue their abusers, and the District. As I've previously written, Cooper and Ruggieri's victims may have strong Title IX claims against the School District for "deliberate indifference" to a sexually hostile educational environment. With each new allegation of indifference on the part of the District, their cases get stronger.

Andreozzi & Associates, P.C. has successfully represented several victims in Title IX lawsuits against public schools. Our firm represents victims of sexual, violent, and financial crimes in civil lawsuits. Our firm is best known for its work on behalf of sexual abuse victims, including representing 11 of Jerry Sandusky's victims. We are also representing the families of murdered love ones in several cases. If you believe you or a loved one has been a victim of a crime and are interested in exploring a potential civil lawsuit, please contact me immediately at [email protected].

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Get In Touch

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our Locations

Harrisburg Office
111 N Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: 717-686-9936
Fax: 717-525-9143
Harrisburg Law Office Map

West Coast Office
7150 East Camelback Road
Suite 444
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Map & Directions

We Will Travel To Our Clients In Any State In The U.S.

National Location Information

*Our Attorneys are Licensed in PA and AZ, Affiliated with Local Counsel Across the Country.