High school coach accused of child sex abuse

Mugshot of Scott Rubinetti of Nutley released by authorities in Bergen County

January 25, 2012 7:56:10 PM PST
A high school football coach has been arrested on child sexual assault charges in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.

Sources tell Eyewitness News that Scott Rubinetti was taken out of school Wednesday in handcuffs.

He's charged with sexual assault, for having sexual contact with a student, when she was 17 and he was a 36-year-old teacher and coach.

"I didn't think he would do something like that, he's a nice guy, he's friendly," said Massimo Sarracino, a Lyndhurst High School Sophomore.

39-year-old Scott Rubinetti should have been a source of pride for Lyndhurst.

He was a standout high school football player who came back to his alma mater to lead the football team to victory.

But Wednesday, Rubinetti was arrested and charged with sexual assault.

"He's born and raised here, I knew him as a kid, I would never have thought he would do something like that. I'll wait for all the facts to come out," said Frank Mezzina, a Lyndhurst parent.

Investigators say Rubinetti had inappropriate sexual contact with a high school senior in 2009, when she was just 17 and he had just started working here after coaching at Northern Valley Demarest.

"I never heard anything bad until this popped up, big surprise, great guy, coming from a small town like this," said Louis Barone, a former Lyndhurst High School student.

Police were tipped off by a fellow teacher, and during the course of their investigation, they say Rubinetti encouraged the girl to lie, and to say that nothing happened.

Some students at Lyndhurst say he was always a little too familiar with the girls in class.

"They see what he does; he does look at the girls all funny and stuff. How he would talk to them, it would be almost like a flirting level," said Andre Bernardo, a Lyndhurst High School Senior.

The school district suspended Rubinetti Wednesday.

No one answered the door when Eyewitness News went to the Nutley home he shares with his wife.

He is being held in Bergen County Jail on $150,000 bail.

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