Sto-Rox School District Sex Scandal
Sto-Rox Teacher’s Assistant Accused Of Sex With Student To Stand Trial
July 7, 2015 2:03 PM – Pittsburgh KDKA CBS Pittsburgh Channel 2 News
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Sto-Rox teaching assistant will stand trial for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old student.
Matthew Bertovich appeared in court for a preliminary hearing Tuesday morning and was held for trial on all charges. The victim in the case also testified this morning.
Bertovich, 24, arrived with his attorney in McKees Rocks to face his accuser, who is 10 years younger than him, in court.
At age 14, she was tearful before she even took the stand, then told the judge that she met Bertovich at school when she was 13. She testified in detail, when asked questions by the prosecutor, describing sex acts that occurred in her home.
She testified that Bertovich was a teacher’s aide in the Special Ed class at Sto-Rox Middle School, but that she was not a student in that class.
Eventually, their relationship became more intimate.
She also described how they communicated online through a Facebook page tied to Bertovich.
“He wanted me to send him nude pictures,” she testified, and she said he sent her graphic pictures.
Allegheny County Detective Corinne Orchowski testified that Bertovich admitted his involvement when he was arrested.
“He said he would call off work and she would call off sick from school. He said they engaged in sexual intercourse” when no one was home at her house.
It was enough that District Judge Mary Ann Cercone ordered Bertovich to stand trial on all charges including institutional sexual assault and rape.
But the defense argues there’s not enough forcible compulsion for the rape charge to stand.
“Simply put, one of the elements and charges they filed was a rape involving forcible compulsion,” said defense attorney David Shrager. “I don’t believe they met their burden, I plan on filing an appeal in that matter,” he said.
The prosecution argued that his position of authority and her fear of telling anyone counted as forcible compulsion.
Bertovich will be formally arraigned in August.
Sto-Rox teacher’s assistant accused of having sex with student released from jail
May 19, 2015 — Pittsburgh WPXI Channel 11 News
Allegheny County, PA — A special needs teacher’s assistant for the Sto-Rox School District accused of sexting and having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student was released from jail Tuesday evening.
Matthew Bertovich, 24, was arrested and taken to the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $80,000 bail Sunday.
May 19, 2015 — Pittsburgh WPXI Channel 11 News
Allegheny County, PA — A special needs teacher’s assistant in the Sto-Rox School District was arrested Sunday following allegations he engaged in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old student, according to the police criminal complaint.
Matthew Bertovich, 24, was taken to the Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $80,000 bail.
Sunday May 17, 2015 — Pittsburgh Trib Live
By Matthew Santoni
Police have accused Matthew R. Bertovich, 24, of Robinson of having sex with and sending explicit messages to a 13-year-old girl.
Police on Sunday arrested a teachers aide who works at Sto-Rox Middle School on charges that he had sex with and sent explicit messages to a 13-year-old girl.
Matthew R. Bertovich, 24, of Robinson allegedly met the victim, a student at the middle school, through a class in which he was helping students with special needs, Allegheny County police detectives working with Stowe police said in a criminal complaint.
Sto-Rox School District Superintendent Terry DeCarbo posted a statement on the district’s website that says the district placed Bertovich on administrative leave Saturday as soon as officials learned of the accusations.
“He will not be permitted on school property, at school events, or to have contact with district students or staff while this matter is under investigation,” DeCarbo wrote. “Please know the safety and security of all district students and staff are the primary concern of the board of school directors and administration.”
The girl told police she and Bertovich started exchanging messages on Facebook in February. At one point, they claimed to be sick so they could skip school; Bertovich visited the girl’s house and had sex with her, authorities said.
The criminal complaint said Bertovich and the girl had sex multiple times in her house when she was home alone. He had told her not to tell anyone about their relationship because he could go to jail, the complaint said.
Police said Bertovich sent the girl explicit messages and pictures of his genitals over Facebook, and persuaded her to send explicit pictures back. The girl’s mother found the messages May 15 and called police, who interviewed the girl and got an arrest warrant for Bertovich on Saturday.
Bertovich was arrested Sunday on a list of charges, including rape, statutory sexual assault, knowingly permitting a child to photograph a sex act, institutional sexual assault of a minor and corruption of a minor.
Court records showed he was being held in Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $80,000 bail. He did not have an attorney listed.
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Sunday May 17, 2015
By Andrew Goldstein / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Sto-Rox middle school teacher’s assistant was arrested today for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 13-year-old female student, according to court documents.
Matthew Ramon Bertovich, 24, of Corapolis, a paraprofessional at the middle school, faces a long list of charges stemming from a relationship with a student he met at the school late last year.
According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Bertovich first met the unidentified student when he was assisting special needs students in her class soon after being hired in November 2014.
It is not clear if the girl was a special needs student.
The girl told police that she and Mr. Bertovich began communicating on Facebook in February 2015. The criminal complaint details sexually explicit language and pornographic photos that Mr. Bertovich sent to the girl and she sent in return.
The girl said that the first sexual encounter between the two was at her Stowe Township home on a day she stayed home from school and he called off sick from work. They met multiple other times as recently as “several days ago,” the criminal complaint said.
On Saturday, the girls’ mother found the graphic messages and photographs sent to her daughter from a Facebook profile with the name Matt Bertovichnikov, according to the criminal complaint.
Police said they were able to match the profile picture on the page with Mr. Bertovich’s drivers’ license photo. He also identifies himself as a paraprofessional in the Sto-Rox School District on the Facebook page.
A message on the Sto-Rox School District website from superintendent Terry A. DeCarbo said: “The district received word on Saturday, May 16th that a paraprofessional employed at the Sto-Rox Middle School was being accused of an inappropriate relationship with a Sto-Rox student. Upon receipt of this information the district took immediate action to place the employee on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.”
The statement goes on to say that “[Mr. Bertovich] will not be permitted on school property, at school events, or to have contact with district students or staff while this matter is under investigation.”
Mr. Bertovich’s charges include rape, statutory sexual assault, photographing sexual acts and numerous other offenses.
He is in the Allegheny County Jail on $80,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for May 26.