Police have arrested a security assistant at a middle school in Montgomery County for allegedly having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl, the latest in a string of school-related sex allegations in the Maryland school system.
Mike Anthony Lievano, 21, who worked at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring, allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with a student at her home and at his home, according to police.
Police said the student — in eighth grade — told them that she initiated contact with Lievano at school, and that she and Lievano began communicating by text message and started a personal relationship in late March.
School officials said that Lievano, of Silver Spring, was placed on administrative leave after they learned of the allegations. Schools superintendent Jack Smith on Monday issued a statement on the case shortly after it became public.
“I am angered and deeply troubled by the allegations against Mr. Lievano,” said Smith, adding that he and others would not tolerate such behavior. The district has expanded its efforts on preventing, recognizing and reporting child abuse in recent years, he said.
The Lievano case comes about six weeks after the arrest of Mark Christopher Yantsos, 57, the head of security at Richard Montgomery High School on charges of sex abuse of a minor and a fourth-degree sex offense.
It also follows a case at Rockville High School that drew national attention, involving two male students accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in a school bathroom in March. Prosecutors recently dropped the rape charges in that case, but filed child pornography-related counts over lewd texts discovered during the investigation.
The cases have raised concerns about safety among parents in the school system of 159,000 students, Maryland’s largest.
Lievano had worked at Col. E. Brooke Lee since mid-February. He previously was a part-time security assistant at Rockville High School from September 2015 until February 2016. Between the two school positions, he worked in private security, school officials said.
Police said that when detectives interviewed Lievano he made admissions related to his contact with the student.
Police charged Lievano with sexual abuse of a minor, a third-degree sex offense and a fourth-degree sex offense by a person in a position of authority. Lievano turned himself in late Sunday night, police said. He is being held on a $10,000 bond.
In a letter home to parents, Lee principal Kimberly Hayden Williams said a support team including school psychologists and counselors would be on campus Tuesday to assist students.
“These charges are troubling and completely unacceptable, particularly given that security staff are placed in schools to keep students safe,” she wrote. “The charges represent a violation of the core values of our school and school system.”