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Judge sets bond at $75k for MCPS security guard Featured

Yantsos-225x300Mark Yantsos. COURTESY PHOTO  

Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division arrested a man Thursday who was a security officer for Montgomery County Public Schools, on the charge of inappropriate contact with a minor, according to a news release. A County District Court Judge placed the suspect on $75,000 bond Friday.

Police arrested Mark Christopher Yantsos, 57, at his home on the 600 block of Warfield Drive, according to the release. Police charged him with sexual abuse of a minor and fourth-degree sexual offense and then took him to the Central Processing Unit.

“It was reported to us by the school that he (Yantsos) was having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old,” Montgomery County Police spokesperson Officer Rick Goodale said.

According to police, a 17-year-old female student at Richard Montgomery High School told SVID detectives she met Yantsos in 2016, while he was a security team leader at the school. She said that Yantsos bought her several gifts, including a cell phone for her to contact him outside school hours, according to the release.

Police said the girl told detectives that Yantsos picked her up from her house on March 3 at 10 p.m. and drove her to a hotel, where he “engaged in inappropriate contact with her.”

By the time MCPS found out about the allegations and told police, a month had passed. Goodale said police were notified by MCPS of the allegations Monday.

“They (detectives) had to interview the 17-year-old; they interviewed the mother,” Goodale said. “They tried to obtain the evidence they could (find).”

Goodale said included in evidence were text messages and pictures, sent by Yantsos, that were inappropriate given his position of authority at the teen’s school.

Detectives applied for an arrest warrant Wednesday and arrested Yantsos Thursday, Goodale said.

“The fourth-degree sexual offense pertains to a person who is in the position of authority,” Goodale said.

On Friday, District Court Judge Eugene Wolfe set Yantsos’ bond at $75,000 with a number of conditions. At the bond hearing Wolfe stipulated that, in the case that Yantsos is released upon payment of bail, he will not try to make direct or indirect contact with the alleged victim, including by social media, handwritten notes or through other persons on his behalf; Yantsos is to be kept out of contact of anyone under 18.

Wolfe also said that if released, Yantsos had to find another place to live instead of his wife’s residence because he is not welcome there. He will be forbidden from reentering Richard Montgomery High School or any Montgomery County Public School.

Assistant State’s Attorney Hannah Gleason informed Wolfe that when Yantsos saw the alleged victim’s mother enter the school April 3 and visit the main office, Yantsos immediately contacted the girl while she was in class and met with her and took back the iPhone 7 he had given her.

At first, Wolfe deliberated over his decision about the bond.

“I’m really on the fence as to whether I want to revoke your bond entirely,” Wolfe said to Yantsos, who appeared on video for the bond hearing.

The judge then said he agreed to the state’s attorney’s recommended $75,000 bond but said that if Yantsos communicated again with the alleged victim in any way, he would have Yantsos held without bond.

Yantsos’ wife Donna Sutton on Thursday requested a protective order against Yantsos for herself and their three children, one of whom is a minor, according to the request.

She gave her husband’s Thursday arrest and the two police charges as reasons for the protective order.

“I have a son he hates and two daughters in my house,” Sutton said. “One, a minor.”

However, Judge John C. Moffett denied her request and said there was no basis for the request.

MCPS said in a news release that it placed Yantsos on administrative leave once administrators learned about the allegations.

MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith said Thursday he was concerned about student’s allegations against Yantsos.

“The allegations against Mark Yantsos, the security team leader at Richard Montgomery High School, are disturbing,” Smith said Thursday. “As Principal Monteleone stated in his letter to the community... the behavior described in the charging document ‘represents an irreparable breach of trust, ethics and the law.’ Any adult who abuses their position and takes advantage of our students has no place in the community.”

Goodale said that detectives are still investigating other possible incidents that may have occurred and have asked parents of Richard Montgomery students to talk to their children about interactions with Yantsos.

If any parent believes a child was ill-treated by Yantsos, they are advised to call Special Victims Investigations Division detectives at 240-773-5400.

@kathleenstubbs3

 

Last modified onThursday, 13 April 2017 20:58
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