Home News Trial set in NE High sex assault case

Trial set in NE High sex assault case

A former Northeast High School staff member accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student has been scheduled for a trial by jury starting on Dec. 16.

Mark Preston Williams, 57, remains free on $50,000 bail pending his Common Pleas Court trial on charges of unlawful contact with a minor, institutional sexual assault of a student, endangering the welfare of a child and corrupting a minor.

Williams surrendered to authorities on March 12 weeks after Philadelphia police first informed the School District of Philadelphia of allegations against Williams. According to a source familiar with the case, Williams allegedly assaulted the girl at his West Chester-area home. The victim’s parent learned of the alleged sexual activity and reported it to Philadelphia police.

Court documents state that Williams committed the offenses on Jan. 13.

A school district spokesman, Fernando Gallard, previously confirmed that the alleged assault did not occur on school grounds. Williams was employed in the dean’s office at Northeast at the time. Upon learning of the allegations, the district transferred Williams out of Northeast High and into a non-school setting. The Times was unable to reach Gallard for further comment on Williams’ status with the district.

Williams has not been charged with assaulting other students.

During an April 29 preliminary hearing, a Municipal Court judge dismissed a charge of interference with the custody of a child, but ordered Williams to be tried on the other four charges. ••

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