By: Yuritza Arroyo
Ocean County authorities announced that on July 7, Matthew Marinelli, 23, of Point Pleasant Borough, was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Witness Tampering in connection with incidents that occurred in April and May of 2023.
According to officials, an investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit determined that Marinelli - while employed as a substitute teacher at Point Pleasant Borough High School - sent nude photographs of himself and engaged in communications that were sexual in nature with a student in one of his classes.
Officials say 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.
According to authorities, on July 7, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit executed a court-authorized search warrant at Marinelli’s residence.
As a result, Detectives seized multiple electronic devices that Marinelli possessed at the residence. 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.
If anyone has additional information regarding Mr. Marinelli or this investigation, please contact Detective Jason LaRaia of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at 732- 929-2027, extension 3758,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated.