Leland Vice Principal Arrested on Sex Charge

Joseph Reghitto, 32, the vice principal of activities, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with events that occurred in September 2011.

By Damian Trujillo and Lisa Fernandez
|  Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 5:57 PM PDT
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San Jose police have arrested Leland High School administrator Joseph Reghitto in connection with having unlawful sexual contact with a student.

San Jose police have arrested Leland High School administrator Joseph Reghitto in connection with having unlawful sexual contact with a student.

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San Jose police have arrested a Leland High School administrator in connection with having unlawful sexual contact with a student.

Sgt. Greg Lombardo said Thursday that Joseph Reghitto, 32, the vice principal of activities, was arrested on Wednesday at the school in connection with an event that occurred in September 2011.

San Jose Unified School District spokeswoman Karen Fuqua said the contact with the student occurred off-campus.

Leland's principal and vice principal were placed on leave, though they are not considered suspects, Lombardo said.

Fuqua said that while placing the two top school leaders on leave is not standard, it's also not unheard of. "They should be back at work shortly," she said. "The district just wants to do its own investigation with transparency."

Fuqua said retired Pioneer High principal John Shannon will take over for now.

NBC Bay Area, which was first to report the arrest, went to Reghitto's home, and tried to reach him by phone on Thursday with no success.

Santa Clara County Jail spokesman, Sgt. Jose Cardoza said Reghitto is in custody on $100,000 bail. He declined a request from NBC Bay Area to be interviewed in jail.

As of early afternoon Thursday, the Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney had not received the case. A decision about whether to file any charges could be made by Friday, a spokesman said.

Reghitto is in his second year as assistant principal, where he oversees student activities such as rallies and clubs. Previously, he was assistant principal at Hoover Middle School. He came to the district in 2004 as a teacher at Bret Harte Middle School.

At least one parent rallied behind Reghitto.

"I've had several interactions with him," said Leland parent, Nikki Pulling, adding that her daughter had been a cheerleader at the school. She said she never felt that he had acted inappropriately toward her daughter.

Leland High hasn't had an easy year. In March, NBC Bay Area reported that nine students were suspended after allegations of cheating. One student , a district spokeswoman said, broke into some classrooms and stole test information before final exams.

Anyone with information should contact San Jose police detectives Sean Pierce or Jeff Moore at (408) 537-1382 or (408)  277-4102.
 
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP (7867), or can visit: http://svcrimestoppers.org.

Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or lisa.fernandez@nbcuni.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/ljfernandez.
 

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