West Jordan teacher arrested for sexually abusing teen student

Posted at 9:09 AM, Mar 03, 2023

WEST JORDAN, Utah — An educator at a high school in West Jordan was arrested Thursday after police said he had a "sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student."

Matthew Jason Rueckert was booked into jail on multiple felony sex offense criminal charges and is being held without bail, police report.

He was charged with eight counts of rape, object rape, and forcible sodomy charges, all first-degree felonies as well as eight counts of forcible sexual abuse, and second-degree felonies.

The crimes were committed between November 2022 and February 2023 and the 16-year-old reported the majority of the crimes happened in Rueckert's classroom, a probable cause statement states.

Leaders with the Jordan School District reported Rueckert was a teacher at West Jordan High School and is no longer employed by the district.

"Jordan School District takes all reports of employee misconduct very seriously," a statement read in part. "We do not tolerate any kind of misconduct or behavior endangering the safety of students."

The news came as a shock to parents in the community.

Steve Lewis has a son who said Rueckert was his history teacher and was a favorite of many students.

“It’s heartbreaking. Very concerned you know what happens to kids in classes once you release them and they go inside those doors," said Lewis. “You hope you have full trust in teachers and administrators that take care of your kids. And my little girl she’s just in third grade, you know, it’s concerning.”

Lewis and other parents expressed frustration that they heard the news from their children rather than the school or district.

In response, Communications Director of Jordan School District Sandra Riesgraf said "we coordinate all messaging with West Jordan Police to avoid compromising any portion of the investigation."

The district said the allegations were immediately investigated when they came to light.

"Swift, appropriate action was taken," a statement reads. "We are cooperating fully with police."

“This case illustrates the importance of parents maintaining effective lines of communication with their children regarding the various aspects of their lives,” said Sergeant Kendall Holt with the West Jordan Police Department.

In a release, officials encouraged any additional victims to contact police at 801-840-4000.

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