Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said yesterday that Zachary R. Ruppel, 27, was indicted on single counts of compelling prostitution, importuning and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and on 10 counts of pandering obscenity involving a minor.
Ruppel, of Lunar Drive on the North Side, was choir director at St. Francis DeSales High School in Columbus from 2010 until June.
According to the indictment, the importuning and compelling-prostitution charges involved a 15-year-old boy and the disseminating charge involved a 17-year-old youth.
Both were DeSales students.
O'Brien said that between February 2012 and July 2013, Ruppel
solicited a sex act and nude pictures from several students and sent the nude pictures to other individuals.
Some of the charges are felonies that could result in years in prison if Ruppel
is convicted, O'B rien said.
A Columbus police investigation over the summer concluded that Ruppel
had solicited nude pictures and sex acts from juveniles in exchange for membership in the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.
Choir directors recommend students for membership in the fair choir each year.
At least one of the youths named in the indictment was in the state-fair choir this year.
Ruppel was a volunteer member of the state-fair choir staff in 2011.
was charged in Franklin County Municipal Court on July 21 with two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one count of compelling prostitution.
Those complaints said he
had asked a 15-year-old boy to engage in oral sex for $100 and sent photos of male genitalia to a 17-year-old.
Those charges were dropped so prosecutors could seek an indictment.
was charged, more youths contacted police to say that they, too, were victims.
Francis DeSales High School
and the Office of Catholic Schools
has cooperated fully with law enforcement during the course of their investigation of Zachary Ruppel
, and school administration has reached out to student, parents, and teachers to come forward with any information that may be pertinent to this investigation.
At the time of Mr. Ruppel's
resignation at the end of the 2012-13 school year, no outstanding conduct or disciplinary issues were known to school administration.
Police later learned from Blaise Baker, Snyder's attorney, that Snyder was told in April 2012 that Ruppel had had "inappropriate" online conversations with a former fair-choir member and a current fair-choir member that year.