Richard Montgomery High Security Chief Sentenced to 18 Months for Sexual Abuse of Student
He was ordered to register as a sex offender and not work with minors again
The former head of security at Richard Montgomery High School was sentenced to 18 months in jail Monday for sexually abusing a 17-year-old female student he met while he worked at the school.
Mark Yantsos, 58, who was arrested in April, pleaded guilty in September to sexual abuse of a minor.
He allegedly told the student he loved her, bought her gifts and took her to a hotel to have sex with her. After he was released on bail in May, Yantsos reportedly abused the girl again despite a judge’s orders not to contact her.
Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Michael Mason sentenced Yantsos to 20 years but suspended all but 18 months as part of a plea agreement, Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office, wrote in an email.
Yantsos also will be on supervised probation for five years. He was ordered to register as a sex offender, not seek employment involving children or teens and have no contact with the victim or other minors.
“It is important to hold Mr. Yantsos accountable with a lifetime listing in the sex offender registry,” Korionoff wrote in an email. “Additionally the judge made sure that he would not work in any job where children are involved.”
An employee with Montgomery County Public Schools since 2007, Yantsos took over as head of security at Richard Montgomery in 2008. For the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons, he was the girls varsity basketball coach.
Yantsos no longer works for the school system, MCPS spokesman Derek Turner said Monday.
The girl met Yantsos while attending the school and talked to him more frequently starting in April 2016. She saw him as a “close friend and confidant,” according to court documents.
Over the next five months, Yantsos gave her gifts and jewelry on holidays and gave her a phone to use when communicating with him “as a precaution,” according to documents. He allegedly sent her sexually explicit texts and handwritten love letters and was photographed spending time with the girl during the school day while he was in his work uniform.
The girl told police Yantsos took her to a hotel in March and had sex with her there. He was arrested in April and arrested again in May when he violated his bail by allegedly having sex with her again after he was released.
“Your position was to protect children from people like yourself,” Mason said to Yantsos Monday, according to a story by WTOP.
WTOP reported that the victim and her family declined to participate in the prosecution.
The case sparked concern among parents and community members. MCPS conducted a review of its employee screening practices after a background check failed to reveal a 1994 criminal case against Yantsos.
The Washington Post reported that school officials warned Yantsos several times in writing about inappropriate contact with the student before his arrest, but he was kept in the position.
Turner said a notice of claim, a precursor to civil litigation, had been filed related to Yantsos. He said that limited what he could say about the case.
“Our thoughts remain with the victim and her family in this case,” Turner wrote in a statement. “The behavior of Mr. Yantsos is completely unacceptable and goes against the core values of our school system.”