Former PHS band director indicted on 21 charges

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]



The suspended Portsmouth High School band director is facing 21 charges in an indictment that came down Tuesday. The Portsmouth Police Department served a warrant on indictment to Matthew Swintek, 27, of Portsmouth. The 21 count indictment returned by a Scioto County grand jury includes Multiple sexually-oriented charges.

“The first three counts are counts of sexual battery. Counts 4-20 are charges of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and count 21 is disseminating matter harmful to juveniles,” Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said.

Swintek had been on administrative leave from the Portsmouth City School District amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a former student. The relationship was reported to the Portsmouth Police Department on Aug. 5, 2016 and Swintek was immediately placed on administrative leave by the district.

The investigation revealed that Swintek engaged in a romantic relationship with the former female student during her junior and senior year, eventually leading to sexual relations. The relationship continued after the student graduated in 2014 and ended in October 2015.

Kuhn said the date range of the sexual battery counts was Aug. 15, 2012 – May 21, 2014. The illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material are alleged to have occurred on various dates when photographs were sent.

In addition to the Portsmouth High School student, the investigation revealed other inappropriate student – teacher conduct. In the spring of 2012, while an Ohio University student, Swintek was conducting his student teaching assignment at Southeastern High School in Ross County, Ohio. During his student teaching assignment, he exchanged sexually oriented pictures and messages with a female student at Southeastern High School. The Ross County charges are included in the indictment.

“There were eight images of the female student from Ross County, Ohio, up at Southeastern High School,” Portsmouth Police Detective Chuck Crapyou said. “These were from back in 2012. We’ve got eight images of her and then we have a photograph of him naked that he sent to that girl in 2012.”

Crapyou said there were other photographs as well.

“He’s got nine photographs of the girl from Portsmouth,” Crapyou said.

Crapyou said Swintek was known to have recently been living with his parents in Brunswick, Ohio in Medina County. But he had also been reported to have been seen in Scioto County too. The search Tuesday extended to Minford, but eventually he was taken into custody in the 2500 block of Scioto Trail around 4 p.m.

“There are some charges that stem from an incident in Ross County (Ohio),” Kuhn said. “Nine of those 21 counts are counts that involve conduct in Ross County that we felt were part of the same course of conduct, a similar type of M-O (method of operation) evidence as far as his actions.”

Kuhn said Swintek will be tried on the Ross County charges in Scioto County as well.

“We talked to the Ross County Prosecutor about whether or not they wanted to pursue their charges independently, or if it would make more sense to do them in one indictment and one trial,” Kuhn said. “After discussing the case they decided to have the tried in Scioto County because the more serious charges are here in Scioto County.”

Kuhn said the case has been assigned to the Scioto County Common Pleas courtroom of Judge Howard H. Harcha, III.

“The matter will be set for an arraignment,” Kuhn said. “As of this (Wednesday) morning we don’t have an arraignment date.”


By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.