A Northeast mother of three who taught math at Lower Moreland High School seduced and had sex with a 17-year-old student last year, according to felony charges filed on Friday by the Montgomery County district attorney.
Erica Ann Ginnetti, 33, of the 3400 block of Ashville St. in Holmesburg, is accused of one count of institutional sexual assault and five counts of disseminating obscene materials to a minor, along with seven misdemeanor counts of corrupting a minor. She has confessed to the inappropriate relationship, authorities claim.
According to a criminal complaint prepared by Lower Moreland Township police, Ginnetti made first contact with the boy last May when he attended his school’s senior prom and Ginnetti was a chaperone. Ginnetti gave her personal phone number to the youth and asked him “to come work out at her gym,” the complaint states, citing the boy’s account of events.
Over the next few months, Ginnetti allegedly groomed the boy by sending him suggestive and sexually explicit photos and videos of herself as well as sexually charged text messages. The various images showed the teacher in a bikini, underwear, workout clothes and a thong, while two videos showed her undressing and “playing with herself,” authorities allege.
Last July, the teacher and student, who lives in Lower Moreland and still attends the same school, agreed to meet at the Starbucks at Roosevelt Boulevard and Red Lion Road in the Northeast, according to the complaint. The boy told investigators that he got into Ginnetti’s car, and the two drove around for about 30 minutes before they parked in an industrial area near the border between Philadelphia and Lower Moreland and had sexual intercourse.
Police allegedly recovered messages from the boy’s phone corroborating the tryst, including one referencing a used condom that had been left in the woman’s white Nissan Altima. In another text after the encounter, Ginnetti allegedly asked the boy to “do it again.”
Police began investigating the case on Jan. 15 after a recent Lower Moreland High graduate reported overhearing a younger sibling’s friends discussing racy photos that a teacher had sent to a student. Police interviewed multiple students and eventually identified the victim by name. The teen admitted his involvement in a sexual relationship with Ginnetti.
Ginnetti was arraigned on Friday in Willow Grove and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. As a condition of release, she may not have contact with children other than her own three kids, ages 8 to 14. The Montgomery County district attorney did not specify what type of sentence Ginnetti may face if she is convicted.
Dr. Marykay Feeley, the Lower Moreland School District superintendent, informed school parents of the allegations in a letter issued on Friday. The district placed the accused teacher on administrative leave upon learning of the allegations and is “moving swiftly to terminate her employment,” according to the letter. The letter did not identify Ginnetti by name.
A page containing professional information about Ginnetti had been removed from public view on the district’s website by Friday afternoon. The page reportedly identified Ginnetti as a teacher of advanced placement courses in calculus and statistics, as well as honors algebra. ••