Local coach, tutor, charged with sex abuse freed Tuesday after posting $100,000 bail -- Gazette.Net







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This story was updated at 5:45 p.m., Dec. 17, 2013.

A local tutor and private coach accused of sexually abusing one of his students posted $100,000 bail Dec. 17.

Police announced Dec. 10 that they had arrested Daniel Sirotkin, 30, of the 17300 block of Autumn Harvest Court in Germantown, and charged him with sexually abusing a minor.

At a Dec. 11 hearing, Gary Gerstenfield, Sirotkin’s attorney, asked Montgomery County District Judge Karla A. Smith to postpone Sirotkin’s bail hearing until Dec. 18, saying he needed more time to prepare for the case. But on Dec. 17, according to online court records, Sirotkin posted the bail in a combination of cash and property. His next court date is a Jan. 3, 2014 preliminary hearing.

A call to a number listed for Sirotkin on charging documents Tuesday evening went straight to voicemail.

Charging documents allege Sirotkin sexually abused a girl he was teaching “multiple times” from 2011 to 2013, when the girl was 14 and 15 years old.

“My client appreciates the seriousness of these charges,” Gerstenfield said in an interview after the Dec. 11 hearing. He said Sirotkin has cooperated with the police in their investigation.

“This has been a difficult time for both my client and his family,” Gerstenfield said.

He declined to go into the specifics of the case, but said Sirotkin was a “really smart guy” who wrestled for Harvard University and was a substitute teacher at a number of area schools.

Sirotkin graduated from Harvard in 2005. An injury sidelined him from wrestling during his sophomore year, according to a 2003 article in the Harvard Crimson.

Sirotkin — an honorable mention on the 2001 All-Gazette Wrestling team at Quince Orchard High School — was a substitute teacher at local schools and a coach with private teams in Montgomery County.

Earlier this year, he coached a prospective Olympic wrestler at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.

County public schools spokesman Dana Tofig said in an email that Sirotkin had not been a substitute teacher with Montgomery County in more than a year.

“Even though the alleged conduct did not happen in a school, someone brought a concern about this person’s conduct to the attention of one of our administrators. The administrator did the right thing and immediately contacted the police,” Tofig said in an email Dec. 10.

Sirotkin coached for two years with the Viking Mat Club, an independent wrestling club that practices in area schools, such as the Landon School or Walt Whitman High School, according to Michael Lerner, the club’s director. Lerner said Sirotkin coached there until 2011.

He said in an interview that he was “shocked” by the news of the charges against Sirotkin. He and a parent of a wrestler notified the club’s members and asked them to contact police if they had any relevant information, he said.

Deborah Higdon, principal at Lakelands Park Middle School in Gaithersburg, informed parents of the news in an email Dec. 11. Sirotkin worked as a substitute teacher at Lakelands two years ago, she said.

“The staff at our school and throughout MCPS take the safety and security of our students very seriously. ... It was a report by a student to an MCPS administrator at another school that led to the police getting involved,” she wrote in the message to parents.