State Supreme Court Tosses Sex Assault Charges Against Paramus Catholic Employees

CBS New York

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the state cannot prosecute two high school employees for sexual assaults on students alleged to have occurred during a class trip to Germany.

Artur Sopel and Michael Sumulikoski were charged with a total of 25 counts, including sexual assault and child endangerment. The 2011 trip involved students from Paramus Catholic High School. Sopel was vice president of operations at the school and Sumulikoski was a substitute teacher and assistant football coach.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the case has been a cloud over Paramus Catholic for almost four years.

The men sought to dismiss the sexual assault and endangerment charges, arguing New Jersey didn’t have jurisdiction since the alleged acts occurred in Germany. A judge denied the motion, and an appeals court upheld that ruling. Both held that New Jersey retained jurisdiction because the men had assumed supervisory and disciplinary control over the students while in New Jersey.

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