Ex-Plum High School teacher acquitted in sex scandal sues borough, police

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PLUM, Pa. - A former teacher at Plum High School who was acquitted last year of witness intimidation charges related to a sex scandal at the school has filed a lawsuit.

Drew Zoldak is suing Plum Borough, Plum police Chief Jeff Armstrong and three officers.


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The suit claimed that Zoldak's civil rights were violated, and that student witnesses did not corroborate the story of a fellow student, who claimed Zoldak identified her in class as one of the victims who had sex with another teacher.

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Zoldak was acquitted of witness intimidation linked to the Plum teacher sex scandal. He is filing the suit against Plum borough, police Chief Jeff Armstrong and three police officers. 
 
After the charges were filed, Zoldak was taken out of the school in handcuffs, which his attorney said was excessive given he was charged with a misdemeanor. 
 
"To have this man's career wrecked because someone got it into their head that they should prosecute because he made somebody feel uncomfortable is way out of line as far as we're concerned," said Zoldak's attorney, Al Lindsay.
 
Teachers Jason Cooper and Joseph Ruggieri were charged in February 2015 with having sex with female students. 
 
Under a plea agreement, Cooper, 39, will spend 18 to 36 months in prison with a five-year probation stint and a lifetime requirement that he register as a sex offender. 
 
Joseph Ruggieri will spend two to five years in prison after pleading guilty. In addition to his prison sentence, he will spend five years on probation and will be a registered sex offender for life. 
 
Michael Cinefra was sentenced to 3-6 years in jail and must register as a Megan's Law offender. 
 

 

 

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