By Elise Franco
A Canfield man accused of having inappropriate contact with a minor has pleaded guilty to aggravated menacing.
Robert Marek Jr., 40, of Rebecca Drive in Canfield, entered his plea in Mahoning County Area Court on Monday to an amended charge of aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor. He also was required to surrender his teaching license.
Marek formerly was employed with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center and with the Austintown and Sebring school districts through MCESC, said his attorney, Scott Cochran.
In April, Marek was charged with gross sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor, relating to a series of incidents beginning in July 2010, when he was accused of sending sexual text messages to an Austintown female who was 14 at the time, according to a police report.
The girl, who came forward with the accusations in January, told police that a few weeks after the text messages began, she saw Marek at Libby Field in Austintown. She said he hugged her then began to kiss her neck and lips, the report said.
Marek was fined $250, sentenced to 180 days in Mahoning County jail, which were suspended, put on two years’ probation and required to complete a counseling program.
Just before the victim filed her report in January, Marek pleaded guilty to public indecency for an incident that was filed in September 2010, said Cochran.
“He was walking his dog and had his hands down his pants,” the attorney said. “He stopped and looked into the window of someone who wasn’t at home.”
Cochran said Marek didn’t expose himself in that incident, but a neighbor saw him with his hands down his pants and called police. On that charge he was fined $500, given 60 days suspended in Mahoning County jail, and placed on 12 months’ probation.
“My intention was to get him out of teaching,” said Ken Cardinal, an assistant county prosecutor. “With two incidents now, he was developing a pattern, so I wanted to get him away from the children.”