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Grand jury indictments in Paramus Catholic sex with students case

Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor
Photo Credit: Bergen County Prosecutor

CLIFFVIEW PILOT SCOOP : A 25-count indictment charges Paramus Catholic’s vice-president of operations and an assistant varsity football coach with having sex with students while chaperoning a European trip.

Sopel, l.,, and Sumuliskoski (MUGSHOTS: Bergen County Prosecutor)

It also accuses one of them with witness tampering.

Artur Sopel, 32, of River Edge, remains free on $225,000 bail and Michael Sumulikoski, 28, of Elmwood Park, on $50,000 bail.

Court dates have not been set.

Both were arrested in April following an investigation by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit and charged with having sex with three students.

The indictment charges Sopel a dozen counts of second-degree sexual assault, five counts of child endangerment and two counts of witness tampering for allegedly trying to get two of the students to lie to investigators about the incidents, which investigators said occurred during a 10-day European trip in February.

According to the indictments, Sopel “had implored two of the victims to withhold cooperation during the investigation.”

Sumulikoski is charged with three counts each of second-degree sexual assault and child endangerment.

Both are former Paramus Catholic High School athletes who were stars in their day.

S opel, a former teacher, is married. Sumulikoski was an assistant varsity football coach in charge of the wide receivers and cornerbacks who also taught at the school. A former team captain, “Sims” was graduated from Paramus Catholic in ’01 before attending Rutgers University.

He was a two-time All-League selection at wide receiver and cornerback and winner of the 2001 All-Suburban Most Versatile Player Award.

Sopel was graduated from the school in 1998. More than 6 feet tall, he had been playing soccer when he was recruited for Paramus Catholic’s varsity basketball team and quickly became a high-scoring frontcourt player.


“According to three of the victims, the alleged inappropriate sexual conduct occurred during a Paramus Catholic High School Belgium/Germany Exchange Program trip and, more specifically, while the students were in Germany,” Bergen County
Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

After the initial allegations were reported, a fourth female said she “engaged in sexual activities with Artur Sopel in the spring of 2010, during the school year, when she was a student at Paramus Catholic High School,” the prosecutor added.

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