Co-founder of Summit robotics lab charged with sexual crimes against three students

Christopher P. Marbaix

A co-founder of a Summit-based robotics laboratory has been charged with sexual crimes against threestudents who attended classes there, acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo and Summit Police Chief Andrew Bartolotti jointly announced Thursday.

Christopher P. Marbaix, 59, is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and three counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact with a child.

The charges are the result of a joint investigation conducted by members of the Summit Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Bryan Tiscia, who is prosecuting the case. The investigation revealed that on multiple occasions from September 2016 through December 2018, Marbaix allegedly inappropriately touched the three victims over their clothing while they were under his personal instruction at Robot Revolution on Maple Avenue, when they were between the ages of 12 and 15.

Robot Revolution describes itself on its website as the largest robotics school in the state, having giveninstruction to more than 3,000 students since it opened nearly a decade ago.

Marbaix was taken into custody without incident Thursday morning, pending a first appearance to take place in Union County Superior Court.

“Children seeking to learn and expand their knowledge were entrusted to this defendant. His alleged actions constitute a betrayal of that trust,” Prosecutor Ruotolo said. “These charges are the result of fine collaboration and investigative work by Summit PD and the Prosecutor’s Office, and reflect law enforcement’s shared commitment to protecting the children of Union County.”

“Without exception, the Summit Police Department strives to engender public confidence and ensure that our efforts protect children within safe and secure learning communities,” Chief Bartolotti explained. “The results of the successful joint investigation by the Summit Police Department and Union County Prosecutors Office brought forward sufficient evidence to introduce charges today. I am thankful for the diligent work of these two agencies, and for this outcome.”

Anyone with information regarding Marbaix’s activities is urged to contact Summit Police Department Detective Sgt. Ryan Peters at 908-273-5871.

Convictions on second-degree criminal offenses are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.