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WBFF-TV Project Baltimore is hosting a town hall tonight to address community concerns regarding a 21-year-old former student who was permitted to re-enroll at a Baltimore County Public School in 2018 after he was convicted of a fourth degree sexual offense involving a 13-year-old girl.
Santino E. Sudano pleaded guilty in 2017 to the offense when he was 19-years-old at the time, court records show.
Although his eight-year prison sentence would be suspended, he was required to register on the state’s sex offender registry which shows an inaccurate birth year making him appear to be one year younger, compared to court documents.
Despite his criminal background, Project Baltimore found that Sudano was given permission by district employees to continue classes at Parkville High School after he was required to register as a convicted sex offender.
Parents of the Parkville school identified Sudano on the sex registry and reached out to district staff with concerns.
But those concerns went unaddressed until Project Baltimore investigated and found that Sudano allegedly sexually assaulted two more students – one who attended the same high school – while students and parents were left unaware that a fellow student had such a criminal record.
The student said she was forced to attend school with Sudano even after concerns were brought to administrator’s attention.
Project Baltimore brought its cameras to Annapolis last Thursday where Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Darryl L. Williams took questions from the Baltimore County House Delegation on why Sudano was permitted to be enrolled despite his conviction.
Williams said to delegates, “A decision was made last year, based on the facts that they had.” But he said that he disagreed with the decision. Williams was hired to lead the school system last July.
But in December, Sudano was arrested again, this time for a third alleged sexual assault against another district student. He is currently incarcerated and his charges include second degree rape, third and fourth degree sex offenses, and second degree assault.
Since Project Baltimore broke the story, a state bill has been introduced which, if passed, will prohibit students who are violent sexual offenders from attending classes with other students in the state.
Along with action leading to the proposed legislation, the station reports that it has received hundreds of responses to the story by a community that is seeking direct answers from the district.
Project Baltimore will be hosting the public meeting tonight, Thursday, Feb. 27, called “Registered and Enrolled,” to address parents’ frustrations where concerned members of the community can ask questions of Project Baltimore Investigative Reporter Chris Papst and a panel of elected officials.
The town hall will be held at the Tall Cedars of Lebanon at 7:00 pm, located at 2501 Putty Hill Avenue in Parkville.
On Wednesday, the station aired an interview with the alleged victim who said she was forced to attend school with Sudano although school administration was aware of the alleged sexual assault against her. She said she will now be filing charges against Sudano.
Parkville High School became aware of the allegations in 2018 through a journal that was found that detailed the victim’s experience with Sudano. At the time, the student said she was too scared to file charges.
The victim told Project Baltimore that Sudano put her “through hell.”
“Even today, I still flinch when people go to touch me,” she told the station. “I want justice for me and the girls who are hurt. If it takes me coming out and my story getting justice for all three of us, then so be it,” she said.