A Pennsylvania high school choir director has been arrested, accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old female student, after her husband learned of the relationship and reported it to school officials.
New Wilmington Borough police last week charged Olivia Lois Ortz, 26, with two counts of sexual contact with a student, one count of unlawful contact with a minor for sexual offenses, and criminal use of a communication facility, New Castle News reports.
Ortz turned herself in Monday afternoon after singing in the Shenango Valley Chorale’s 50th anniversary concert on Sunday. She was arraigned and ordered held on a $150,000 bond, which she posted.
Ortz replaced Jonathan Priano as choir director at the school after he was accused of misconduct with various students in June 2020. Priano’s case — 10 counts of institutional sexual assault, two counts of unlawful contact with minors, 12 counts of corruption of minors, and two counts of endangering the welfare of children — has a pre-trial hearing set for June 29.
“Olivia Ortz did replace him and she’s only been there about a year. Unfortunately, very ironic,” New Wilmington Police Chief Carmen Piccirillo said.
According to court documents, Cody Ortz, the teacher’s husband, found messages between his wife and the girl on an iPad in April. Ortz was suspended from teaching when police launched an investigation, and she resigned from her post on May 9.
According to WTAE, the 17-year-old student admitted to being involved with Ortz and said she trusted and confided in her. The criminal complaint says that Ortz invited the girl home while her husband was away and they “snuggled” while watching television and then retired to the bedroom for sexual activity.
The student said she went to Ortz’s home after the investigation began to “comfort” Ortz. Investigators seized Ortz’s cell phone and iPad earlier this month, but she and the student continued to communicate via the Spotify app, until the girl’s father discovered the messages and banned her from using technology.
According to the complain, the teen told investigators that she and Ortz are in love.
“It’s a tragedy for everyone,” Piccirillo said. “It’s a tragedy for the student and her family. It’s a tragedy for the teacher’s husband and his family. It’s a tragedy for the teacher. She’s a talented young woman just getting started in her career. And from what we’ve seen, she’s made a number of horribly bad decisions.”
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[Featured image: Olivia Ortz/New Wilmington Borough Police Department]