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Former Somerset County coach, teacher sentenced for sexual assault of student

SOMERVILLE, NJ (Somerset County) –  A former coach and teacher of a Somerset County school was sentenced for sexually assaulting a student, according to Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald.

Matthew Rennie, 29, Ringoes was sentenced on March 17 to four years in New Jersey State Prison, subject to the registration and reporting requirement of Megan’s Law and the conditions of Parole Supervision for Life. He is prohibited from teaching or coaching anyone under the age of 18 and must continue psychotherapy. He shall also provide truthful testimony against defendant Griff who is scheduled for trial in May 2023, McDonald said.

Rennie was arrested on Oct. 6, 2021, after a 17 year-old female victim reported to Franklin Township Police that she was sexually assaulted by Rennie, who is 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 Ranait Griff, 30, of South Orange, a teacher and coach at the same school was aware of the sexual relationship. She 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 evaluation. After a hearing on the results of that evaluation was held, he was scheduled for sentence, McDonald said.

Anyone with information relating to the sexual assault to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit 908-231-7100 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports, and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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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