Grand jury indictment for ex-coach

Scott Rubinetti


A Bergen County grand jury voted July 25 to return a criminal indictment of Scott M. Rubinetti, the former Lyndhurst High School football coach, for allegedly having sex with a Lyndhurst High female student, when she was age 17.

No trial date has been set.

Rubinetti, a Nutley resident who was arrested six months prior to the indictment on charges of sexual assault, child endangerment and witness tampering, remains free on $150,000 bail pending disposition of his case.

The five-count indictment, a copy of which was obtained from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, alleges that Rubinetti – while employed as coach and physical education instructor by the Lyndhurst Board of Education – committed the following offenses between Oct. 1, 2009, and March 30, 2010:

Had “inappropriate communications and/or contact” with the student, including “in-person, telephonic, text or other means,” using marijuana with the student, and engaged “in sexual contact” with the student.

Caused harm to the student, “making (the student) an abused or neglected child … by performing an indecent, immoral or unlawful act or deed in the presence of (the student) … including kissing and performing oral sex on the student.

Committed “sexual assault upon (the student), date of birth March 31, 1992, by performing an act of sexual penetration … upon the victim, the victim being at least sixteen but less than eighteen years of age and the actor having supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim when he was employed by the Lyndhurst Board of Education….”

Engaged in sexual conduct “which would impair or debauch the morals of the said child….”

“ … (O)n or about January 18, 2012, … believing that an offi cial proceeding or investigation was pending or about to be instituted, did knowingly attempt to induce or otherwise cause (the student) … to testify or inform falsely and/ or withhold any testimony, information, document or thing ….”

The prosecutor’s office said the alleged actions took place when the student was a high school senior.

Lyndhurst Schools Supt. Tracey Marinelli said that Rubinetti’s employment with the district was discontinued June 30 after the school board voted not to renew his annual contract. He was a non-tenured employee at the time, she said.

The board has named Rubinetti’s predecessor, Joseph Castagnetti, as the new high school football coach and, in the aftermath of several physical education teacher retirements, has hired several new P.E. teachers, one of whom will cover Rubinetti’s instructional slot, according to Marinelli.

-Ron Leir

The Observer Staff