Ill. principal faces sex charges in Wis.

April 8, 2008 8:45:33 PM PDT
An elementary school principal from Spring Grove, Illinois, is charged with sexual abuse and showing pornography to minors after he was found in a Wisconsin hotel room with two underage girls.Daniel Scott Markofski, 47, is facing these kinds of allegations. Police are saying that all of the activity took place in the Milwaukee metro area involving teenagers from the Milwaukee area, not the Chicago area.

Parents at Markofski's Illinois school nonetheless were shocked to learn about it in Spring Grove.

From grade school principal to Milwaukee County inmate, Markofski made his initial appearance in court Tuesday afternoon. The principal of Spring Grove Elementary School, 2018 Main Street, has been charged with sex crimes involving a 16-year-old girl he met through a phone chat line with her 15-year-old cousin.

Parents at the grade school in Illinois were stunned to learn about the charges up in Wisconsin from reporters Tuesday rather than the school district.

"I was not notified. And that just -- i don't want them to come back to school tomorrow. It's awful," said parent Colleen Freund.

"I know my child is safe here, (but) I'm shaken from what happened," said Regina Congiusti, parent.

Police say last Friday, Markofski took the two teens to a Super 8 hotel in Glendale, a northern suburb of Milwaukee. There they drank, smoked marijuana and watched pornography. He allegedly had sex with the 16-year old and also took intimate pictures of her with his cell phone.

The girls are from the Milwaukee area and were not his students. Markofski is charged with two counts of exposing a minor to harmful material, a felony, and one count of sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older, a misdemeanor.

Markofski has been principal of Spring Grove Elementary since this school year and prior to that he was a teacher in Wisconsin for more than 20 years.

Markofski's bond was set at $20,000.

"I'm really surprised and shocked...but all those Chesters all over the place, yeah," said parent Stephanie Zolli.

Officer Joel Dhein, Glendale Police, said police made the arrest after the smell of marijuana was detected in the hotel.

Markofski is suspended with pay from his job.

Markofski lives alone in an upstairs apartment of a home in Richmond, Ill. The owner said she is very shocked because this is not the man she knows.

The superintendent of Nippersink School District #2 says crisis teams will be at the grade school Wednesday for students and staff. On Wednesday night, the board of education is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation and his job status.

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