Former NEHS staffer convicted of child abuse

A former ad­min­is­trat­or at North­east High School denied that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl stu­dent, but a Com­mon Pleas Court jury saw dif­fer­ently on June 6, con­vict­ing the dis­graced dis­cip­lin­ari­an of child-ab­use charges.

Mark Pre­ston Wil­li­ams, 58, re­mains free on $50,000 bail pending his Sept. 12 sen­ten­cing. The jury con­victed him of un­law­ful con­tact with a minor, in­sti­tu­tion­al sexu­al as­sault, child en­dan­ger­ment and cor­rupt­ing a minor fol­low­ing a three-day tri­al.

The crimes oc­curred in Janu­ary 2013 when school was out of ses­sion for Mar­tin Luth­er King Jr. Day. Wil­li­ams took the girl out for a meal, then to his home in Ex­ton, Chester County, where the as­sault took place, pro­sec­utors said. Wil­li­ams re­portedly ac­know­ledged that he met the girl and took her to his home, but denied that they had sex. Weeks later, the girl’s par­ent learned of the in­cid­ent and re­por­ted it to po­lice.

While the case re­mained un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion, the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia re­moved Wil­li­ams from North­east High and placed him in a job out­side of a school set­ting. After po­lice ob­tained a war­rant for his ar­rest, Wil­li­ams sur­rendered on March 12, 2013. He was later sus­pen­ded from his job pending the out­come of court pro­ceed­ings.

Wil­li­ams was not ac­cused of ab­us­ing oth­er stu­dents.

Al­though pro­sec­utors in­tro­duced no DNA evid­ence, the vic­tim test­i­fied dur­ing the tri­al. Wil­li­ams had no pri­or crim­in­al re­cord. ••

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