DA: Montco school official had sex with student

Mark Citron

February 28, 2012 3:45:57 PM PST
A school official from a Montgomery County school district faces charges that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Jenkintown School District Athletic Director Mark Citron had the relationship with the teenager in early 2010, the Montgomery County District Attorney said in a news release on Tuesday.

District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said an anonymous tip to "Childline," the state's service for reporting child abuse, led investigators to the victim, now 19 years old. The victim allegedly said that when she was a student at Jenkintown High School, she had a relationship with Citron that lasted about six months.

According to the D.A., the victim said Citron would have sexual contact with her in his office at Jenkintown High School, including at least one occasion of sexual intercourse.

The D.A. went on to say that investigators have spoken with other students who were aware of ongoing contact between Citron and the victim during that time.

In addition, the D.A. said, investigators reviewed Citron's phone records, which confirm routine contact between Citron and the victim, including more than 2,300 text messages.

Those messages included nude images of the teen, allegedly sent at Citron's request.

It is a small school and rumors had been circulating for some time.

"It blew over and it came back up randomly when whoever let it out and it started going around again," said Kyleigh McSherry.

Still, one student had praise for Citron and the work he did at Jenkintown.

"Kind of surprising when I first heard about it, he's such a nice guy to me. He gave me a lot of opportunities like helping out around school and announcing games and stuff. He's really nice," said student Pat Durkin.

Citron is charged with Corruption of Minors, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Criminal Use of a Communications Facility.

Citron surrendered to authorities and was arraigned with bail set at $250,000 unsecured.

He posted bail on Tuesday afternoon but, as a condition of bail, he cannot come to Jenkintown High School, he cannot contact the alleged victim and he cannot be around anyone under the age of 18 except for his two children.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 8th.

The Jenkintown School District posted a letter to parents on its website Tuesday afternoon. In part, it says "the District Superintendent has suspended Mr. Citron without pay pending a recommendation to the School Board that his employment with the District be terminated."

Here is the full letter:

Dear Parents or Guardians,

The District received notification from the District Attorney's office that criminal charges alleging the corruption of the morals of a minor, as well as other related offenses, have been filed against Mr. Mark Citron, the High School Athletic Director. These charges arose from alleged inappropriate sexual contact between Mr. Citron and a former Jenkintown High School student from January 2010 through June 2010.

Upon review of the evidence presented to the District by law enforcement authorities, the District Superintendent has suspended Mr. Citron without pay pending a recommendation to the School Board that his employment with the District be terminated. As previously reported by the District, Mr. Citron has been on a leave of absence during the initial investigation of these allegations. To date, Mr. Citron has denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

The District will do everything in its power to cooperate with this investigation and protect its students from inappropriate conduct by any District employees. The District typically does not comment on matters involving specific employees or students at the allegation stage and does not intend to do so beyond this statement at this time. However, the District wants to reaffirm to the community that:

An employee having an inappropriate relationship with a student is absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the District; and
The District would never knowingly permit any employee having an inappropriate relationship with a student to work in its schools or to have any contact with any student.

When there is additional information of which you should be aware, the District will communicate that information to you in a timely manner.