Mountain Ridge High School (Glendale, Ariz.) football coach Vince Ciliberti was arrested in Mesa Friday on suspicion of luring a minor for sexual exploitation.
Ciliberti was arrested in Mesa on suspicion of one count of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual contact with a minor, according to Maricopa County Superior Court documents.
Records indicate Ciliberti was communicating with an undercover police officer at the time of his arrest. Ciliberti reportedly thought the officer was a 14-year-old boy and stated through instant messaging he wanted to have a sexual relationship with the boy, records said.
Police then apprehended Ciliberti at a Mesa location where he had agreed to meet the minor for sex, records said.
Ciliberti was released on his own recognizance and ordered to appear for a hearing on Feb. 14.
The Deer Valley Unified School District confirmed Ciliberti’s arrest in an email to The Arizona Republic.
Ciliberti, 35, a math teacher, led the football team the last two seasons. He was placed on paid administrative leave by the school district, according to Monica Allread, spokeswoman for the the district.
Allread sent The Republic a copy of the letter that was sent to the parents and guardians of football players on Sunday, addressing Ciliberti’s arrest. She said that was all the information the district was able to share.
The letter states:
Dear Mountain Ridge Parents and Guardians,
There is some information that we feel is important to share with you to maintain transparent communication as we work together to ensure a safe and secure school community. The Deer Valley Unified School District was notified by the Tempe Police Department that MRHS teacher Vincent Ciliberti has been arrested. He has worked and coached football at MRHS for one and a half years. Pending further information, Mountain Ridge Administration and DVUSD Human Resources staff will ensure that all teaching and coaching duties are covered by properly certified staff. The Police investigation is ongoing, and we are cooperating fully with investigators. DVUSD Human Resources is following all legal procedures during this investigation. This staff member passed all of the required background checks during the hiring process including the fingerprint clearance check. We do not have any additional information at this time. If you have any information that would be important for police to know, please contact the Tempe Police Department directly. If we learn of information that will further impact our school or your student’s education, we will send out another letter.
Ciliberti was hired in 2016 to replace Bobby Green as head football coach at Mountain Ridge. He was previously the offensive coordinator at Pinnacle (Phoenix), where he had been part of Dana Zupke’s program since 2003.
Ciliberti’s two Mountain Ridge teams went 2-8 in 2017 and 0-10 in 2018.
Reporter Perry Vandell contributed to this report.