Ex-youth leader pleads guilty to 7 sex charges

YOUNGSTOWN — A former Victory Christian Center youth leader in Boardman pleaded guilty Monday to seven sex charges.

Mark R. Cuprik II, 23, of Shepherds Road, Poland, had been indicted six weeks earlier in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The victims were children ages 15 and 11 at the time of the offenses, which began in 2017 and continued into February and March of this year, according to Cuprik’s indictment.

Cuprik, pleaded guilty to sexual battery; two counts of pandering obscenities involving a minor; one count of importuning; two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles; and one of misdemeanor sexual imposition.

Prosecutors will recommend he receive four years in prison when he is sentenced later. His hearing Monday was before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum.

Because of his guilty plea, Cuprik will be classified as a Tier-3 sex offender, which requires him to register his address with the county sheriff in the place where he lives every 90 days for the rest of his life.

Krichbaum kept Cuprik’s bond at $50,000 and ordered Cuprik to have no contact with the victims. Community Corrections Association of Youngstown will conduct a background investigation prior to sentencing.

According to a Beaver Township police report, an investigation began March 21. Police were sent to Beaver Township Memorial Park for a juvenile who had been taken in a vehicle by Cuprik, a family friend of one of the victims. A chase ensued involving family members and Cuprik’s vehicle, the report states.

Cuprik drove at high rates of speed and disregarded traffic control devices, the report states. Cuprik later dropped the girl off at the park, and she was reunited with family members.

The incident led to interviews at the Akron Children’s Hospital Child Advocacy Center with the juvenile and other family members. It also resulted in subpoenas and search warrants being issued for social media accounts, the report states.

Caitlyn Andrews, assistant prosecutor, declined to provide additional information on the case until after sentencing. Cuprik was indicted Oct. 28.


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