Maryland High School Security Staffer Charged With Sex Abuse

The former NYPD officer was accused of using a gun to menace a woman in 1994, school officials say

A Maryland high school's security team leader has been charged with sexual abuse after police say he had "inappropriate contact" with a 17-year-old student.

Mark Yantsos, 57, was arrested Thursday after the Montgomery County Police Department's special victims unit learned he had an "ongoing sexual relationship" with a female student at Richard Montgomery High School, where he worked, police said.

Montgomery County schools superintendent Jack R. Smith called the allegations disturbing.

"Any adult who abuses their position and takes advantage of our students has no place in our schools or community," he said in a statement.

Police say the student told police that Yantsos befriended her last year and bought her gifts, including a cellphone that he used to text with her during and after school hours.

The victim told police that on March 3 at about 10 p.m. Yantos picked her up from home, took her to a hotel in Rockville and had inappropriate contact with her.

The police department says they have text messages Yantsos recently sent her.

Police say they learned of the alleged abuse Monday and arrested Yantsos at his Rockville home Thursday.

Yantsos was charged with sexual abuse of a minor and a sex offense. Information on his lawyer was not available immediately. 

In a letter to parents, school officials said Yantsos was placed on administrative leave. 

School officials say they learned that Yantos, a former New York Police Department officer, was accused of using a gun to menace a woman in 1994.

A New York Times story on the incident says Officer Mark Yantos was charged with menacing after he was accused of drawing his gun on a dancer in a topless bar where he was drinking heavily.

All full-time Montgomery County Board of Education employees are required to be trained in recognizing and reporting child abuse.

Police asked that parents of students at the high school talk with their children about their interactions with Yantsos and contact police at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.

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