UPDATE: Richard Montgomery High School Security Leader Arrested for Violating Bond in Sex Abuse Case
Prosecutors allege Mark Yantsos again had sex with 17-year-old student after release
Updated at 3 p.m. Saturday: On Friday night, Montgomery County police arrested the head of security at Richard Montgomery High School who allegedly continued to sexually abuse a 17-year-old student after he was released on bond in a sex abuse case, police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said.
Police spokesman Rick Goodale said Friday afternoon police were seeking to arrest Mark Christopher Yantsos, 57, who is facing charges of sexual abuse of a minor and a fourth-degree sex offense for sexual contact he allegedly had with a female student he met through the Rockville school. He is on administrative leave from the school.
Yantsos, a former New York Police Department officer who has worked in Montgomery County Public Schools since 2007, was released on a $75,000 bond April 10 on the condition of making no contact with the alleged victim. Since his release, he met with the girl at least six times and reportedly had sex with her once, according to court documents.
The Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a motion to revoke his bond this week and a judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest Wednesday for violating the terms of the bond, according to court records. An attorney for Yantsos said Friday he could not comment on the matter.
Police were notified of the warrant and officers were actively looking for Yantsos. Starks said Saturday afternoon that Yantsos had been arrested Friday evening in the county. He gave no further details.
Yantsos had contact with the student multiple times between April 25 and May 2, according to a motion to revoke bond filed by prosecutors with the State’s Attorney’s Office. A friend of the student who observed Yantsos’ April 25 contact with her corroborated to police the girl’s account of meeting him that day, lawyers wrote.
The girl told police she had been at Yantsos’ residence for about 30 minutes every day from April 28 to Monday. On Tuesday, Yantsos spent five hours with the girl and had sex with her, according to the document. Yantsos also gave her $100 on that day.
Prosecutors were informed on Tuesday evening of the contact Yantos had with the girl, according to the document.
“Based on the nature of the offense, and the physical contact with the victim, the State believes this defendant is a danger to the victim in this case,” attorneys wrote.
Police initially arrested Yantsos on April 6 at his Warfield Drive home in Rockville after school officials became aware of Yantsos’ alleged sexual contact with a female student.
The female student told police she thought of Yantsos as a “close friend and confidant,” according to court documents. Yantos spoke frequently with the student and bought gifts for her, including a diamond pendant necklace for Christmas and a ring for Valentine’s Day.
The girl said that around October, Yantsos told her he loved her and “wanted the two of them to be together,” according to court documents. In March, he bought her a cellphone to use to communicate with him. The girl told police that he brought her to a hotel room March 3 and had sex with her there.
After the girl’s mother became aware of Yantsos’ involvement with her daughter, she immediately told school officials, who then contacted police.
Yantsos had taken over security at Richard Montgomery in 2008 and coached girls’ varsity basketball at the high school in the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.
The school system is reviewing its employee screening process after background checks missed a 1994 criminal case against Yantsos. He was charged with pulling a gun on a waitress at a topless bar while working as an NYPD officer, The New York Times reported that year.
Yantsos continued working with the NYPD until April 1997, and told Richard Montgomery’s student newspaper, The Tide, that he retired from the department as a detective. In the 2015 article, he said two of his children were Richard Montgomery graduates. He said he had also taught for seven years.
The day he was arrested, Yantsos’ wife filed a protection order against him, asking the court to restrict him from contacting her and their daughter, who is a minor, and his two stepchildren, but a judge denied the petition. At Yantsos’ bond review, Assistant State's Attorney Hannah Gleason said Yantsos' wife told attorneys he would not be welcome in their home.
Judge Eugene Wolfe set the bond April 7 based on Yantos’ apparent lack of criminal history and on the stipulation that he be electronically monitored. Wolfe ordered him to stay off school property in addition to not contacting the girl. Yantsos posted the value of a property to secure the bond, according to court records.