Olivia Ortz: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

olivia ortz

Lawrence County Jail Olivia Ortz.

Olivia Lois Ortz of Hermitage, Pennsylvania is a teacher accused of having sexual contact with a student, a 17-year-old girl, at Wilmington Area High School in Lawrence County, according to court documents filed in her case.

Ortz, 26, was charged by the New Wilmington Borough Police Department with four felony counts in Neshannock Township, according to her docket sheet. Ortz was suspended from her position as a music teacher, and subsequently resigned, the school said in a statement.

Police said Ortz and the student posted more than 100 messages to each other on Spotify, and investigators believe they established “code words” as an alert if their relationship was discovered, according to WPXI.

Ortz is charged with two counts of sexual contact with a student and one count each of unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of communication facilities, court documents show. Each charge is a third-degree felony. A court records search indicates Ortz does not have any prior criminal history in Pennsylvania.

Police allege the sexual contact occurred April 4, 2022. Ortz’s bail was set at $150,000, and she has hired an attorney to represent her.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Student Told Police That She Initially Considered Ortz To Be a ‘Safe Adult’

Police interviewed the student about the allegations against Ortz, and the student told police the teacher did have sexual contact with the girl, according to TribLive, which reviewed the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case. The student told investigators that she initially considered Ortz to be a “safe adult.” The student said she trusted Ortz and confided in her.

The student would go to Ortz with personal and relationship problems, she told police. The relationship changed course at some point, the girl said in her interview with investigators.

“The student indicated that at first (they) considered Olivia Ortz a ‘safe adult’ that she trusted and confided in about her personal problems and relationship problems, but then it turned into a romantic relationship,” police wrote in charging documents, according to TribLive.

2. Ortz Was a Wilmington Area High School Music Teacher & The School Said She Was Suspended

The Wilmington Area School District suspended Ortz from her position as a music teacher at the Wilmington Area High School, the school said in a statement. The school’s statement said that Ortz resigned following her suspension. The district suspended her “immediately” after learning of the allegations, the statement said.

The statement said:

The Wilmington Area School District recently received information concerning an alleged inappropriate relationship between a district high school teacher and student. Upon learning of this situation, the District immediately suspended the teacher, who has since resigned. Additionally, the District reported the allegations to ChildLine, local law enforcement, and PA Department of Education.

An investigation ensued under the supervision of the New Wilmington Borough Police with the assistance of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office. Today we have learned that criminal charges were filed and the former teacher was taken into custody this afternoon.

3. Ortz’s Husband Notified the School He Believed His Wife Was Engaging in Sexual Contact With a Student

The charges filed against Ortz began with a report from her husband, TribLive reported, citing court documents. The report did not indicate why Ortz believed his wife was having inappropriate contact with the student.

Ortz’s husband also works at the school district, holding a contract employee position, TribLive reported.

He reported the allegations to school officials, and he and the principal made a joint report to ChildLine. ChildLine is Pennsylvania’s mandated reported line. Police opened their investigation April 18, 2022, in response to the ChildLine report.

4. Ortz’s Husband Was Out of Town When the Alleged Crime Occurred

The student told police that Ortz’s husband was out of town, and she went to Ortz’s house, according to TribLive, which cited the police report.

The police report said that detectives obtained a search warrant and collected a DNA sample, Ortz’s cellphone and iPad and conducted a search at Ortz’s home in Hermitage.

Ortz was arraigned on the charges at 2:30 p.m. May 16, 2022, before Magisterial District Judge Richard A. Russo, according to her docket sheet. Russo set bail at $150,000, and Ortz remains in Lawrence County Jail in lieu of bail, her docket sheet shows. Her preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 31 before Russo.

She has hired an attorney, Randall Thomas Hetrick or Mercer, her court documents indicate. His website says he has more than 25 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney.

5. Ortz & The Student Posted More Than 100 Messages for Each Other Between May 10 and 11, Police Said

Police are gathering electronic evidence in the case against Ortz, they said in a police report obtained by TribLive. The student and teacher posted more than 100 messages for each other on Spotify on May 10 and May 11, days before the charges were filed, police alleged.

WPXI identified Ortz as a “former choir teacher.” The news outlet reported the student and teacher had established “code words” that would indicate discovery of their communication outside school. WPXI reported the student and teacher communicated “outside of school verbally, via cellphone and through text-based messaging.”

“Officers also say that the student returned to the house at Ortz’s invitation on multiple occasions to comfort her after her husband had discovered their secret relationship,” WPXI reported.

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