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Former Somerset County coach, teacher sentenced for failure to report child abuse

SOMERVILLE, NJ (Somerset County) – A former teacher and coach was sentenced for failing to report child abuse, according to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald.

Ranait Griff, 30, of South Orange was sentenced on June 22 to probation and is prohibited from teaching or coach anyone under the age of 18-years-old, McDonald said.

Griff entered a guilty plea on May 10 to an amended disorderly persons charge of failure to report child abuse, McDonald said.

​On Oct. 6, 2021 Matthew Rennie, 29, of Ringoes was arrested after a 17-year-old female reported to Franklin Township Police that she was sexually assaulted by teacher and coach Rennie, who was employed at a private educational institution in Franklin Township, Somerset County, McDonald said.

The teen was interviewed by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit and Franklin Township Police Department. As a result of this investigation, the victim disclosed incidents that occurred in Montgomery Township and East Amwell Township (Hunterdon County) from July 2021 to September 2021, McDonald said.

As a result of this investigation, it was also determined that Griff, a teacher and coach at the same school was aware of the sexual relationship, McDonald said.

Griff was arrested by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit and the Franklin Township Police Department without incident at the Franklin Township Police Department, McDonald said.

Rennie was indicted for second-degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. Griff was indicted for fourth-degree failure to report child sexual abuse, McDonald said.

Rennie entered a guilty plea to the charges on May 6, 2022, and was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending an Avenel Evaluation. After a hearing on the results of that evaluation was held, he was scheduled for sentence, McDonald said.

On March 17, 2023, Rennie was sentenced to four years in New Jersey State Prison. He is subject to the registration and reporting requirement of Megan’s Law and the conditions of Parole Supervision for Life. Defendant Rennie is prohibited from teaching or coaching anyone under the age of 18 and must continue psychotherapy, McDonald said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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