JACKSON TOWNSHIP - The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office has announced that a Jackson Township music teacher has been charged with child endangerment and official misconduct following an investigation.

Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said Michael Carattini "engaged in an inappropriate relationship in the form of Internet and email communications with a 14-year-old student." The complaints do not allege any physical contact between Carattini and the victim, Ford said.

The prosecutor's office said the alleged incident occurred about five years ago while the victim was about 14 years old and a student at Christa McAuliffe Middle School. The victim, whose identity was not released, is now over the age of 18 and is no longer a student in the district.

The Jackson Township Board of Education has suspended the 29-year-old teacher with pay. Guidance counselors are prepared to help any students in need of emotional support at the school.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Detective Mitch Cowit of the Jackson Township Police Department, 732-928-3012, or Detective Jay Dotto of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, High Tech Crimes Unit, at 732-929-2027.