BOARDMAN Teacher's hearing is delayed
Authorities believe the Chaney student has run away from home again.
BOARDMAN -- A pre-trial hearing for a substitute teacher charged with contributing to the delinquency of a student was postponed when the 17-year-old girl did not show up in court Thursday.
Carlos Mendez, 30, appeared in Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center with his attorney, Dennis DiMartino, but Juvenile Judge Theresa Dellick said authorities cannot find the girl and believe she has run away from home again.
Judge Dellick said an order of apprehension has been filed for the teen. She reset the hearing for Sept. 6.
DiMartino said Mendez does not know where the girl might be and has been instructed not to have any contact with her.
Mendez, a substitute teacher with the public school district since March 4, 1999, is charged with 23 misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor stemming from a relationship with the Chaney High School student. Mendez spent much of the end of the 2000-2001 school year at Chaney on the city's West Side.
Boardman police received an anonymous phone call June 13 about the girl moving into Mendez's Stadler Court home. Juvenile officer Rick Balog went to investigate and Mendez answered the front door. Balog said he could see the girl inside.
Balog questioned Mendez and the girl. Both said she lives with her family in Youngstown, but had been staying at Mendez's home "for about a month," although her family did not know, Balog said.
Listed as runaway: Police records show that authorities had been looking for the girl, who was listed as a runaway through the Youngstown Police Department, since May 22. Mendez contends he was trying to offer the girl assistance, police said.
Chuck Zillo, schools community relations coordinator, said school officials are keeping a close watch on the situation and will not be using Mendez in any capacity, but are letting the court proceedings take their course.