- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PLUM, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania school board has voted to hire replacements for two teachers awaiting trial on charges they had sex with separate students at a high school.

The Plum School Board on Monday accepted the resignation of 38-year-old science teacher Jason Cooper and voted to hire replacements for him and 40-year-old English teacher, Joseph Ruggieri.

Cooper is charged with having sex with an 18-year-old student. Defense attorney Michael DeRiso doesn’t deny the relationship, but says it doesn’t violate state law because of the girl’s age. He says Cooper had no choice but to resign, however, for violating district policy.

Ruggieri remains on unpaid suspension and is jailed on charges he had sex with another female student, then twice tried to intimidate her by calling and emailing her. His attorney has promised to fight the charges.

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