MARCH 21, 2023
TEACHER/COACH SENTENCED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives John W. Fodor announced that on March 17, 2023, Matthew Rennie, age 29, Ringoes, New Jersey, a former teacher, and coach was sentenced to four years in New Jersey State Prison for sexually assaulting a student.
Prosecutor McDonald stated defendant Rennie was arrested on October 6, 2021, after a 17 year-old female victim reported to Franklin Township Police that she was sexually assaulted by teacher/coach Matthew Rennie, who is employed at a private educational institution in Franklin Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. The victim 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.
As a result of this investigation, it was also determined that Ranait Griff, age 30, South Orange, New Jersey, a female teacher/coach at the same school was aware of the sexual relationship. Defendant 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.
Defendant Rennie was indicted for 2nd degree Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Defendant Griff was indicted for 4th degree Failure to Report Child Sexual Abuse.
Defendant 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, the defendant was scheduled for sentence. On March 17, 2023, defendant 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. Defendant Rennie shall also provide truthful testimony against defendant Griff who is scheduled for trial in May 2023.
Prosecutor McDonald and Chief Fodor request 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.
NOTE: The charges are merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.