Posted on 4/9/2015

Defendant: Zachary Ruppel

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced that Zachary Ruppel, age 28, and former music teacher and choir director of St. Francis DeSales High School, entered a guilty plea today to five sex offenses before Judge Colleen O’Donnell for one count Compelling Prostitution (F3), one count Importuning (F5), one count Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles (F5) and two counts Pandering Obscenity Involving Minors (F4).  The Compelling Prostitution and Importuning were based on Ruppel seeking sexual favors in exchange for money.  The other charges related to the exchange of images of minors depicting genital parts was in exchange for higher grades or other favors.  The charges to which he entered the guilty plea involved three separate students he taught during the 2012 and 2013 school years.  The electronic communications included text messages, Snapchat and Skype with digital photos.  Judge O’Donnell accepted the guilty plea, ordered a pre-sentence investigation, and scheduled the sentencing for July 8, 2015.  “Ruppel faces a potential eight years incarceration”, O’Brien said.