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NJ Coach Knew About Colleague's Relationship With Teen But Did Nothing To Stop It: Prosecutor

Matthew J. Rennie and Ranait Griff
Matthew J. Rennie and Ranait Griff Photo Credit: Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

A New Jersey teacher and athletic coach was arrested for sexually assaulting a teen student, and another school employee was charged with knowing about it -- but not doing anything to stop it, authorities said.

Matthew J. Rennie, 30, of Ringoes, became the center of an investigation when the 17-year-old female reported the alleged abuse to Franklin Township police, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office announced.

The incidents occurred between July and September 2021 in Montgomery and East Amwell (Hunterdon County), Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said.

The investigation also found Ranait Griff, a female teacher/coach at the same school, had been aware of Rennie's relationship with the student, but failed to report it, authorities said.

The two appear to have worked at Rutgers Prep, but the school's athletic website did not have either listed as employees as of Oct. 8.

The school issued the following statement:

“We take the allegations made against two school employees extremely seriously. When we learned they had been arrested, both were immediately suspended. 

"The safety of our students is our first priority. We have hired an experienced investigator to conduct a thorough and independent investigation, and we will cooperate fully with law enforcement. Because this is a legal matter and a personnel matter we will not comment further.”

Rennie was arrested on Oct. 6 by detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and Montgomery Township Police Department at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office without incident.

Rennie was charged with 2nd degree Sexual Assault and 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Defendant Rennie was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Griff was charged with 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Defendant Griff was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Rennie played basketball for Dartmouth College after having attended Rutgers Prep, the school website says. He appears to be a North Brunswick native.

Griff graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx and has coached at the collegiate and high school levels.

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