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Former Columbus Choir Director Indicted on Sex Charges
COLUMBUS (Ken Hines) -- A former central Ohio high school choir director has been indicted on charges he solicited sex and nude pictures from underage students.
The Franklin County Grand Jury indicted Zachary Ruppel on 13 counts, including compelling prostitution and pandering obscenity involving a minor.
Investigators have accused the former St. Francis DeSales High School Choir Director of soliciting sex acts and nude pictures from several students from February, 2012 and July, 2013. Ruppel, 27, also sent naked pictures of himself to students, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.
If convicted on these charges, Ruppel faces numerous years incarceration, as well as registration as a sex offender, O'Brien said.
Prosecutors allege that Ruppel attempted to convince students to engage in illegal sex acts in exchange for placement in the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, for which he was a volunteer staff member.
Authorities claim to have found approximately 24,000 illegal images on Ruppel's computer during their investigation.