Richard Montgomery Security Leader Accused of Sexually Abusing Student Held on $75,000 Bond
If released, he would not be permitted to contact alleged victim
A Montgomery County District Court judge on Friday ordered the Richard Montgomery High School security team leader who is charged with sexually abusing a 17-year-old student to be held on $75,000 bond and to not contact the alleged victim if he is released.
Mark Christopher Yantsos, 57, was arrested at his Rockville home Thursday and has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor and a fourth-degree sex offense.
"I'm a little bit on the fence as to whether I want to revoke your bond entirely," Judge Eugene Wolfe said during a bond review hearing for Yantsos in the Rockville court. The judge then decided to release Yantsos given his lack of a criminal history and on the stipulation that he be electronically monitored.
If he posts bond, Yantsos also will not be permitted to have any contact with the female student and would not be allowed on the Rockville school's property, Wolfe said. Yantsos also would have to provide the court with an address where he would be residing. Assistant State's Attorney Hannah Gleason said Yantsos' wife has told attorneys he would not be welcome in their home.
On Thursday, Yantsos’ wife filed a protection order against him following his arrest, asking the court to restrict him from contacting her and his daughter, who is a minor, and his two stepchildren, but a judge denied the petition.
The student involved in the alleged incident had come to know Yantsos, a 10-year employee of Montgomery County Public Schools, while attending Richard Montgomery and considered him “a close friend and confidant,” according to court documents. Yantsos and the student began to talk more frequently in April 2016, and in October Yantsos told the girl that he loved her and wanted them to be together, according to documents.
He bought her gifts including a diamond pendant necklace for Christmas and a ring for Valentine’s Day and gave her a phone last month to communicate with him. On March 3, he picked her up at her home, brought her to a hotel and had sex with her there, according to court documents.
The girl’s mother became aware of Yantsos’ involvement with her daughter Monday and immediately informed school officials, who then told police.
MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith wrote a letter to parents Thursday saying student safety is “paramount” and “any adult who abuses their position and takes advantage of our students has no place in our schools or community.”
Smith also wrote that MCPS has learned that Yantsos was accused in 1994 of using his revolver to “menace” a woman while working for the New York Police Department. That information was provided to county police, he said. The New York Times reported that year that an Officer Mark Yantsos, then a seven-year veteran with the department, drew his gun on a waitress and dancer at a topless bar and was charged with a misdemeanor.
MCPS officials placed Yantsos on administrative leave from the school. He will face a preliminary hearing in Montgomery County District Court on May 5.
UPDATED April 17: Yantsos was released on bond on April 10, according to court records.