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Fla. gay porn actor returns to high school

8:01 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
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(WKMG-TV/Florida Today)

COCOA, Fla. -- An 18-year-old high school senior at the center of a dispute over his appearance on a gay pornography website will return Wednesday to Cocoa High.

A Brevard Schools decision banning him from classes catapulted Robert Marucci into the international spotlight last week; however, the district said Tuesday the teen would be allowed to return to class.

"I'm just ready to return to school, like a normal day," Marucci said Tuesday.

Marucci, who turned 18 in June, told WKMG-TV Orlando that he believes he was kicked out of class more than a week ago because of his after-school job as a porn model.

He said he was trying to pay the bills for his family, but other students found his work and he became a target for bullies.

However, a district spokeswoman said Marucci never complained of being bullied and denied Marucci was banished because of his job.

"We would never suspend a student for his job or job-related activities," spokeswoman Michelle Irwin said. "We had to conduct an investigation based on some credible information that we received ... When we have anything that's a safety and security issue, we keep a student home."

She would not elaborate on why Marucci was sent home, citing the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act. WKMG-TV cited the school's referral slip as saying Marucci made threats against other students.

Cocoa High principal Stephanie Soliven called Marucci on Tuesday morning -- after the holiday weekend -- and they worked out a plan to get him back to class, Irwin said.

Marucci said the principal "apologized to me and said the threats were made up (by other students)." District officials confirmed the investigation had been concluded and Marucci was cleared.

The discussion between principal and student was according to district policy and unrelated to a flurry of furious Facebook comments and feedback the district received from around the globe after the story broke last week, Irwin said. She did not have the policy immediately available.

"It's easy to become emotional about a situation when it looks like a student is being targeted for his lifestyle choices. That is not the case here," Irwin said. "We will continue to work with the student and his family to make sure he graduates and moves on with his education."

Marucci appeared in five videos between October and December that were posted on the California-based gay pornography website SeanCody.com.

Because Marucci is an adult, he did not appear to violate obscenity laws, Assistant State Attorney Wayne Holmes said.

"We're basically in a society today where consenting adults can do what consenting adults want to do," Holmes said, adding that the community standard for what is obscene has changed with the increased use of technology and the Internet. "What 30, 40, or 50 years ago may have been a crime, you can now go to a local movie theater and see."

Marucci shuffled his bare feet through dry pine needles carpeting the cement walk outside his home while speaking Tuesday with Florida Today. He slumped his muscular, 5-foot 9-inch frame, hung his blond head and avoided eye contact.

He was anxious on the eve of his return to class, behaving nothing like Noel, his bold online personality as a gay pornography model. He knows that returning to Cocoa High School will be anything but ordinary given his unusual job, taken to help out his mom because his dad doesn't work.

"It's just her trying to feed me and the dogs and pay bills," Marucci said, rubbing his hand across his face.

His mother told the television station that she was aware of her son's work. Marucci declined an extensive interview, saying his mother has been the target of negative commentary since the WKMG-TV story appeared.

"I'm not trying to be involved in anything that harms my mother," he said.

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(Florida Today)

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