Suspended Hopewell teacher faces new charges of sex offenses with student
A suspended Hopewell Area High School teacher accused of sexting and fondling a student faces similar charges tied to another student.
The state attorney general's office on Wednesday charged Joseph A. Rubino, 37, of Hopewell with five felonies and one misdemeanor, including indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor and criminal solicitation to commit sexual abuse of children.
Rubino, who remained free Wednesday on $10,000 unsecured bond, could not be reached. Superintendent Charles Reina did not return a phone message.
When asked whether there were any other possible victims, attorney general spokeswoman Lauren Bozart said in an email, “It is an active and ongoing investigation.” Attorney General Kathleen Kane said anyone with information should contact Special Agent Lee Yingling at 724-433-5316. Yingling would not comment.
Rubino's attorney, Steven Valsamidis, said he does not know whether anyone else is making accusations against his client, whom he's instructed not to discuss the case.
“We don't know what information the commonwealth possesses,” Valsamidis said. “(Rubino) is denying any criminal wrongdoing, so it's a guessing game on our part as to who is coming forward and saying what.”
In the latest charges, the attorney general's office accuses Rubino of sending sexually graphic text messages to a student from her junior year through her senior year. She is now 20.
A criminal complaint said Rubino promised her tickets to a Steelers game if she would send him explicit pictures of herself and that he bought her a $50 gift certificate for Victoria's Secret for her 18th birthday. The complaint also said Rubino fondled the student in a classroom.
After graduating, she texted Rubino and asked him for a letter of recommendation, according to the complaint. Rubino replied that he would if she had sex with him. The girl's father saw the text and confronted Rubino, who said he would stop, the complaint read.
Rubino admitted in a Sept. 17 interview with Hopewell police that he exchanged sexual communications with two female students, according to the complaint.
Police in January charged Rubino with nine felonies and one misdemeanor, including child pornography possession and indecent assault, because a student said he sexted her and fondled her from her sophomore through senior years. Rubino awaits trial on those charges.
The district suspended Rubino without pay in September.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Penguins’ Perron returning to form
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Committee says Senate should move forward on removing Attorney General Kane
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
- Police find marijuana grow rooms in Castle Shannon
- Obama: No credible intelligence about terror plot against US
- Buffalo man dies after truck hits him in the West End Circle
- Cheswick super fan, 90, has had season tickets for almost 70 years
- Stanley’s Bar & Grill in Ford City offers free Thanksgiving dinner
- For some, pathway to Thanksgiving often bumpy