Hearing in rape case is reset

He is accused of assaults on a female relative.

WARREN — A Southington man charged with 13 counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition involving a female relative had credentials as a substitute teacher and was a Southington track coach in 2007.

Louis D. Ponzi Jr., 47, of state Route 305, was scheduled for a pretrial hearing Wednesday in the courtroom of Judge W. Wyatt McKay, but the hearing was reset to next Wednesday.

Ponzi was secretly indicted in October on the 14 charges. He pleaded innocent in an arraignment and is being held in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Diane Barber, an assistant county prosecutor, said Ponzi is accused of having sexual contact with the girl from 2000 to April 2007. Two of the charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Records at the Trumbull County Educational Service Center indicate that Ponzi had credentials to substitute teach in Trumbull County effective with the 2004-05 school year and for two additional years after that. His credentials were not renewed and therefore expired at the end of the 2006-07 school year.

Records are not kept at the educational service center on where substitute teachers work, said Carlotta Sheets, human resources and communications superviser at the service center, so she could not say whether Ponzi substitute-taught at any time.

Southington school and athletic officials could not be reached Wednesday to comment on whether Ponzi taught or coached at the school.

The parent of a Southington student says, however, that Ponzi was middle school track coach last spring. Ponzi did not complete the year as coach, however, the parent said. The school gave no explanation for Ponzi’s absence the last two weeks of the track season, the parent added.