TOBYHANNA — A Social Studies teacher at a high school in the Poconos faces charges of having a sexual relationship with a teenage boy.
Investigators say the student came forward just this week and described what allegedly happened to him in 2011.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police call the crime “disturbing.”
They arrested Christopher Martinelli, 40, at his home near Tobyhanna Tuesday night.
While inside police found evidence that makes them believe there are more victims.
Police believe Martinelli had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student in the summer of 2011 at Martinelli’s home.
The student, who is now 17, came forward this week and told police this: Martinelli was his eight grade social studies teacher. The sexual relationship started two years later when the teen was in tenth grade at Pocono Mountain West High School. Martinelli would text him and contact him on Facebook. The teacher then invited the 17 year old over to his house twice during the summer of 2011. Then in February of 2012, Martinelli gave the teen Valentine’s Day cards.
Police arrested Martinelli at his home about 12 hours after Pocono Mountain School District officials contacted them about a suspicious incident that took place between Martinelli and a student.
Police did not elaborate on that incident but did say that information from the school district led them to arrest Martinelli.
While searching his home, they say they discovered evidence that makes them believe there are more victims
Martinelli was a teacher at the school for 17 years He was involved with several youth organizations in the area.
“It seems like he put himself in an environment to be surrounded by adolescents,” said Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Harry Lewis.
In a statement, Pocono Mountain School District officials said:
“On Tuesday, the district suspended the accused, and he was directed to have no contact with students, parents or staff while this matter is under investigation.”
“He was also banned from school property until further notice. District officials are cooperating fully with the police during their investigation of these very serious allegations.”
“The sad part about it , this investigation is going to be very long and drawn out and there are other kids who were victimized and we need to find out who they are and give them justice they deserve,” added Chief Lewis.
Christopher Martinelli is locked up in the Monroe County jail
Pocono Mountain Regional police are hoping if there are any other victims, they step forward.