A former assistant coach at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Maryland is facing charges of sexual abuse of two high school students, Montgomery County Police say.
Nine years ago, Chris Papadopoulos was a star quarterback on Wootton High School's football team in Rockville. He went on to college and then returned to coach for the Wootton football team. Now 26, Papadopoulos is charged in a sex assault case in which the victims are two of his former players, police say.
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According to court documents, the case goes back to 2017. At the time, the coach was 23; the victims were 17.
One victim says he went to Papadopoulos' house on Thorburn Place in Gaithersburg to improve his football skills. He said the coach had him remove all his clothes except his underwear to do stretching exercises. Police say Papadopoulos fondled the victim.
The other victim said he needed Papadopoulos' help to get into a college football program, but the the coach asked the teen for nude images. When the victim said he disliked sending pictures, Papadopoulos allegedly said that's what college players do, and the victim complied, according to authorities.
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"Our obligation is to keep our children safe," said Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy. "That's our primary obligation. I think that's something that the schools embrace as well, and I think that they understand, and they work with us constantly in these matters, to make sure that our kids are safe, and in every context, whether it's in a classroom or on an athletic field."
Papadopoulos, who was an assistant varsity coach for Wootton from 2016 until this year, was arrested Monday night. He is facing charges including sexual abuse of a minor.
Papodopoulos’ attorney, Rene Sandler, said the presentation of the case Tuesday is not the whole story. She said there is more to be known as the case moves forward.
In a letter to parents, Wootton High School Principal Kimberly Boldon said Papadopoulos has been placed on administrative leave. She said Montgomery County Public Schools are fully cooperating with law enforcement in the matter.
"These charges are troubling, completely unacceptable and represent a violation of the core values of our school and school system," Boldon wrote in the letter.
Virtual counselling services will be available to any students in need, she said.
Detectives are concerned there may be additional victims and are asking anyone who believes that he or she is a victim to call them at 240-773-5400.
In a school newspaper article, Papadoupolos was quoted as saying that what he liked most about coaching was having the opportunity to have a positive influence on kids' lives, both inside and outside of football.