Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Search for legal issues
For help near (city, ZIP code or county)
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location

NJ Chaperones Charged with Student Sex on Trip

Article Placeholder Image
By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 12, 2011 7:05 AM

They may have been hot-shot athletes back in the day, but two Paramus Catholic High School alums-turned-employees are now accused of trying to resurrect the glory days with three teenage students.

Artur Sopel, vice president of operations, and Michael Sumulikoski, a substitute teacher and Paramus Catholic football coach, allegedly had sex with a combined three female students while chaperoning the group on a class trip to Germany.

Paramus Catholic sent a group of students to Germany and Belgium in February for a 10 day trip, reports the Daily Mail. At some point, Sopel had sex with two different female students, while Sumulikoski did the same with another.

Artur Sopel is also accused of having sex with a former Paramus Catholic student in 2010, notes the Associated Press.

Both men, who are being charged with sexual assault and child endangerment, are denying that anything inappropriate took place, according to both sources.

Though courts generally stay away from what is called "extraterritorial application," the Supreme Court has held that the government has good reason to apply criminal laws to behavior that occurs outside of its geographical jurisdiction.

When Congress passed the Protect Act of 2003, it invoked this principle, making it illegal for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to engage in a sexual act with a person under the age of 18 while abroad.

It appears as though Artur Sopel and Michael Sumulikoski are being charged under New Jersey law. However, should a New Jersey court not permit the state to apply its laws to extraterritorial conduct, prosecutors can certainly charge under the Protect Act.

Related Resources:

Find a Lawyer

More Options