Menu

Former elementary school teacher found guilty of sexual abuse of students

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — A former Montgomery County Public Schools teacher was found guilty Friday of sexual abuse of students.

After nine hours of deliberation Friday night, a jury found John Vigna, 50, of Silver Spring, guilty of four counts of sex abuse of a minor and five counts of third-degree sex offense, according to Ramon Korionoff, spokesperson for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

John McCarthy, state’s attorney for Montgomery County said Vigna was arrested in June of 2016 after five Cloverly students, both current and former, reported that they had been touched inappropriately while sitting in Vigna's lap during the school day. Victims came forward after taking a mandated body safety class which helped them understand inappropriate contact.

“Body safety classes instituted by MCPS helped expose this child sex offender,” said McCarthy. “We commend the jury for working hard through a Friday night to render this verdict. It holds John Vigna accountable.”

Read more...

Judge sets bond at $75k for MCPS security guard

  • Published in Crime

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.

Read more...

Maryland Bill Would Require Sexual Abuse Awareness Education in Schools

  • Published in State

ANNAPOLIS -- When Erin Merryn was sexually abused by a neighbor at the age of 6, she said, she felt she had no one to tell.

She said she did not tell her parents or report it to her kindergarten teacher. Growing up attending Illinois public schools, she had learned how to say no to drugs and what to do in the case of a tornado or a fire, but she had not learned how to deal with this.

Read more...

Cross-examining child witnesses

 

scales of justiceCriminal cases involving charges of sexual abuse of minors involve unique problems for the courts in allowing the State to present its case while protecting the constitutional rights of the person accused. A major issue is how testimony and cross-examination of an alleged child victim is handled. This is illustrated by a recent opinion from Maryland’s intermediate appellate Court (published in the Daily Record) called Brochu V. State.

Read more...

School system evaluating abuse-reporting protocol after Pineda case

  • Published in Local

MCPS logoGAITHERSBURG – Montgomery County Public School officials say their abuse-reporting protocol needs improvement.

On Dec. 4, MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr announced the school system is undertaking several measures to improve its reporting of sexual abuse incidents. In November the school system came under intense criticism from parents for what is being described as lax reporting of sexual abuse incidents. Parents said they remained unaware of two separate incidents of sexual misconduct by MCPS staff members and contractors for a month after they occurred.

Read more...

Long time clergyman convicted of sexual abuse

  • Published in Crime

1nate-moralesGAITHERSBURG - A Montgomery County Circuit Court jury found former Covenant Life Church youth pastor and teacher Nathaniel Morales guilty last week on three counts of sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of second-degree sexual offense. Morales was indicted on charges of sexually abusing three boys from the ages of 11-18 from 1983 to 1991. 

Read more...
Subscribe to this RSS feed