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Former Glen Mills counselor admits to assaulting student

Christopher Medina, 33, pleaded guilty Friday in Delaware County Court.

A building at Glen Mills School, in Glen Mills, PA.
A building at Glen Mills School, in Glen Mills, PA.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

A former counselor at the Glen Mills Schools pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting a teenage boy who was under his supervision at the school in 2018, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Christopher Medina, 33, who was sentenced to two years’ probation, will cooperate with the ongoing criminal investigation of the reform institution and with the state Department of Human Services' licensing proceedings, said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.

» READ MORE: Beaten, then silenced

The District Attorney’s Office said the 17-year-old boy was participating in a “guided group” meeting with 30 to 40 other students on July 19, 2018, when there was a verbal altercation between him and another student.

“Medina approached the victim and slapped him multiple times on the head. He then pulled the juvenile from his chair by grabbing him under his armpits and slamming him into the floor. Medina then grabbed the victim by the collar and forced him up the stairs to the second floor of the building,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Stollsteimer said in a statement that “the events that occurred at the Glen Mills School shocked our community. The school failed in its most basic duty — to protect the children in its care. While today’s sentencing cannot undo the trauma experienced by the victim, the defendant’s guilty plea is a significant accomplishment in that the defendant has acknowledged responsibility for the harm that he caused.

"It also ensures that the defendant will not work with children in the future. This conviction should serve as a warning to anyone who is entrusted with the care of our children that such conduct will not be tolerated,” Stollsteimer said.

Medina pleaded guilty before Judge Margaret Amoroso to simple assault, reckless endangerment, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Deputy District Attorney Doug Rhoads said in his sentencing argument in court, “Glen Mills is an institution that accepts students from different backgrounds, including those placed by virtue of the criminal justice system. In such circumstances, the goal is to reform and restore juveniles. Glen Mills, by and through the actions of Chris Medina, failed in this instance thereby violating the public’s trust and the trust that those of us in the criminal system place in the Glen Mills School as an institution. … Today’s conviction makes it clear that such conduct will not be tolerated.”

Several investigations were launched into Glen Mills following an Inquirer report documenting decades of violent abuse and cover-ups at the school for court-ordered boys.