Mountain Ridge High School coach accused of luring, attempted sexual misconduct with a minor

TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - The Tempe Police Internet Crimes Against Children Unit arrested Vincent Ciliberti, 35, on sex crimes charges.

Police say the arrest was made on January 31 in Mesa. At the time of his arrest, Ciliberti was a track and field coach, head football coach, and 9-12 grade teacher at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale.

The Deer Valley Unified School District sent a letter to parents informing them that a faculty member at Mountain Ridge High School had been arrested.

School officials state that they were notified by Tempe Police about the arrest of Vincent Ciliberti. Ciliberti worked as a teacher and football coach at MRHS for one and a half year. He has been coaching high school football since 2003. For 14 years, he coached at Pinnacle High School.

Court documents say that Ciliberti was arrested for luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor.

The documents state that Ciliberti communicated with an undercover officer via instant messenger, with whom he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, saying he wanted to have a sexual relationship.

Police say there is no indication that Ciliberti had any physical contact with a minor at this time.

Ciliberti was booked into jail in Tempe, but later released. The judge in Ciliberti's initial court appearance questioned the evidence, and asked the prosecutor for more information.

"The state was not able to get the police report in this matter to flesh out the facts.. Mr. Celeberti, as much as it pains me in a case like this, I believe that this is legally insufficient probable cause."

Meanwhile, Ciliberti's neighbors were stunned at the accusations.

No one answered when we knocked on his door, but neighbors say they did see Celeberti at his house over the weekend.

Tempe police say they plan to submit a completed case to the attorney general's office before the end of February.

Although he's not in jail, the felony charges have not been dismissed. Celeberti must attend two upcoming court hearings, or a warrant will be issued for his arrest.