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Married teachers arrested on child sex crime charges

Husband and wife work in different districts

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - Two teachers from Lackawanna County, a husband and wife, are each facing child sex crime charges.

Detectives believe the couple from Greenfield Township had inappropriate contact with a teenage girl.

Nicodemo and Ruth Baggetta were both arraigned on charges including child endangerment and corruption of minors charges Thursday afternoon.

Investigators believe the couple befriended a teen girl, started spending a lot of time with her and ultimately took advantage of her sexually.

Nicodemo and Ruth Baggetta turned themselves in to face the charges at the Lackawanna County Courthouse Thursday afternoon.

"My heart is going 240 for the parents of the child that it happened to. You would trust these people with your child not to have them abused or taken advantage of. It's disgusting," Edith Christopher of Montdale said.

Ruth Baggetta is a music and band teacher in the Lakeland School District.

That is where investigators believe the suspects met the teen.

Detectives say the couple crossed the traditional student-teacher relationship by taking the teen out to dinner and buying her things.

Nicodemo Baggetta allegedly started spending more time with the girl which reportedly led to kissing and fondling.

He's also accused of giving her alcohol and marijuana.

"It's sick. They are sick. This world is falling apart," Barbara Pompey of Nicholson said.

Nicodemo Baggetta has been a teacher at the Fell Charter School for roughly two years.

The girl told detectives she even slept in the same bed with both suspects.

"When my kids went to school, it never even crossed my mind that something like that would happen to them. Never even crossed my mind," Christopher said.

The teen girl told investigators she had sexual contact with Nicodemo Baggetta more than 20 times.

The allegations have stunned parents who say we're hearing about cases like this with growing frequency.

"There's going to be another one and another one so maybe the background checks aren't enough, they need more," Pompey said.

Both the Lakeland School District and the Fell Charter School say their respective employees were suspended with pay on March 20 as soon as each school learned about the situation.

Now that criminal charges have been filed, both schools say the suspects will now be placed on "unpaid" leave.

Both of the suspects were released on $100,000 unsecured bail after their arraignment.

The judge ordered them to have no contact with students and they are also not allowed to use social media at all.

 


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