Former Montgomery Co. high school football coach pleads guilty to sex abuse

A former football coach at Wootton High School, in Rockville, Maryland, who was charged in 2020 with sexually abusing two players, has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced to 18 months behind bars this July.

Twenty-six-year-old Christopher Papadopoulos was arrested in 2020 and charged with convincing two players to come to his Potomac home, under the guise of helping them be prepared to play college football. Papadopoulos was an assistant varsity football coach at Wootton from 2016 to 2020.

According to court records, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last month to one felony county of sexual abuse of a minor, and misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual contact, as part of a plea and sentencing agreement with prosecutors.

Defense attorney Rene Sandler told WTOP the binding plea agreement — which was accepted by Circuit Court Judge Sharon Burrell — calls for Papadopoulos to spend 18 months behind bars. The statutory maximum for sexual abuse of a minor is 25 years.

Papadopoulos will be required to register as a sex offender, according to Sandler.

Papadopoulos had also been indicted on a second sexual abuse of a minor charge, as well as third-degree sex offense — prosecutors will drop those charges at sentencing, according to his lawyer.

According to police, the players were sexually abused after school hours and off school property.

Shortly after the arrest, WTOP reported one accuser alleged the abuse started in summer 2017, when he was younger than 18. Charging documents stated that the suspect invited the accuser to his home, with the accuser understanding that they would be meeting as player and coach and talking about how to improve playing skills and contacting colleges.

During these times, Papadopoulos would perform stretching on the player’s muscles. During one of these stretching sessions, charging documents said that the suspect began to fondle the accuser, with the routine becoming “worse every time.”

During one incident, the accuser asked Papadopoulos to stop, to which the suspect responded by asking for “five more minutes.”

Also in the fall of 2017, Papadopoulos and a second accuser — who was under 18 — communicated by text and Snapchat, according to police. During these communications, Papadopoulos asked the second accuser for photos to measure weight-training progress.

The second accuser believed Papadopoulos’ help was necessary to get into a college football program and continued to send him the photos.

Papadopoulos was released on bond shortly after his arrest.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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