Attorneys reportedly challenge jurisdiction in overseas school trip sex case

Two suspended employees of a New Jersey Catholic high school reportedly argued that the state cannot prosecute the men for allegedly having sex with female students on a class trip to Germany.

Attorneys for Artur Sopel and Michael Sumulikoski argued Tuesday that their clients did nothing inappropriate during the trip with students last February. Even if they did, however, Bergen County prosecutors have no jurisdiction because the alleged acts took place overseas, The Record reports.

Sopel, 32, of River Edge, N.J., was the vice president of operations at Paramus Catholic High School. Sumulikoski, 28, of Elmwood Park, N.J., was a substitute teacher and an assistant football coach. Both men were suspended without pay following their arrests last year, the newspaper reports.

Prosecutors argued that the state can prosecute because both men acted in a supervisory capacity.

Superior Court Judge James Guida said he will make a ruling by July 9 — a precedent-setting decision that will be the first of its kind in the state and is likely to be appealed either way, the newspaper reports.

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