Choir Instructor Accused of Sex Crimes Against Students


Police said a choir instructor was in custody Sunday night, accused of sex crimes against his students.

26-year-old Zachary Ruppel was charged with disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, and compelling prostitution involving a minor.

Police said complaints were made, saying Ruppel solicited nude pictures and sex acts in exchange for positions in the choir.

Ruppel was Director of Choirs at Saint Francis DeSales High School, but sources told 10TV he recently resigned.   Rupple was also part of the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir staff.

Columbus Police said the charges involve students of his at DeSales as well as other juveniles involved with the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir dating back to 2011.

Police were still investigating the charges and trying to locate and identify additional victims.

Officials from DeSales High School as well as the Ohio State Fair are being fully cooperative with the Investigation.

DeSales officials offered the following statement on Monday:

"Zachery Ruppel was choir director at St. Francis DeSales High School beginning in the fall of 2010.  At the end of the 2012-13 school year, he informed the school that he would not be renewing his teaching contract for 2013-14; no conduct or disciplinary issues were a consideration. St. Francis DeSales High School and the Office of Catholic Schools will continue to cooperate fully with the Columbus Police Department to assist them in their investigation." 

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