WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) – A former Jordan School District teacher at West Jordan High School has been formally charged after being accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student.
Matthew Jason Rueckert, 32, has been charged with two counts of first-degree felony rape, one count of first-degree felony object rape, four counts of first-degree felony forcible sodomy, 11 counts of second-degree forcible sexual abuse, and one count of second-degree felony obstruction of justice.
According to court documents, Rueckert’s alleged relationship with a student started gradually at the beginning of the school year. At first, it was a friendly relationship that grew more intimate over time before the alleged sexual incidents occurred inside the teacher’s classroom and, in one case, at a church parking lot.
In February, court documents say Rueckert called the student and told her someone had reported them to the school administration. Rueckert allegedly instructed the student to delete everything between them off her phone so he wouldn’t get in trouble. Court documents say the student agreed and followed his instructions.
The student reportedly told police that she felt she was in a relationship with Rueckert and that he had told her he loved her.
Police say Rueckert used his position of trust to prey on the student and that she cannot consent to any sexual activity as a minor.
At the time of the arrest, Jordan School District released the following statement:
Jordan School District takes all reports of employee misconduct very seriously. We do not tolerate any kind of misconduct or behavior endangering the safety of students.
Allegations regarding the actions of a former West Jordan High School teacher were immediately investigated by the school and West Jordan Police. Swift, appropriate action was taken. We are cooperating fully with police.
Matthew Rueckert is no longer employed by Jordan School District.
The safety and wellbeing of students is our top priority.
Rueckert is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Thursday, March 9 at 1:00 p.m.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100.