By Mark Hallum
A former Bayside substitute teacher has pleaded guilty to attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl into performing oral sex in exchange for $500 in an undercover police sting, the Queens district attorney said.
Christopher Tselios, 29, appeared Monday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter and accepted blame on a four-count indictment for an attempted criminal sexual act, attempt to disseminate indecent material to minors, attempt to patronize a prostitute and attempt to endanger the welfare of a child.
“The defendant has admitted to trying to meet an underage teenager for sex and will now go to jail for his actions. This case underscores the crucial importance of internet surveillance by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators,” Brown said.
“This case, and the many others my office has prosecuted over the years, should serve as a warning to parents that they must closely monitor their children’s internet activities. Despite the numerous publicized arrests for exactly this type of behavior, sexual predators continue to relentlessly troll the internet for victims. Do not let your child become one of them.”
Tselios was a substitute teacher with the city Department of Education until 2015 and claimed to be planning a permanent relocation to South Korea to teach kindergarten. The Queens DA said the South Korean Consulate was notified to prevent the suspect from traveling to their country without knowledge of his legal standing in the United States.
After being forced to surrender his passport at the time of his arraignment, Tselios was released from custody in August 2016 after making a $50,000 bail. But he will be sentenced to three months in jail, 10 years on probation and will be ordered to register as a sex offender at his sentencing on Feb. 8, the DA said.
“This case underscores the crucial importance of Internet surveillance initiative by law enforcement to protect children from sexual predators,” Brown said when charges were brought up against Tselios in August 2016.
An NYPD vice detective posing as an underage teenage girl responded to a Craigslist post looking for “fun with a teen or younger,” the DA’s office said. The suspect responded and explicitly asked for the girl’s age and as the conversation progressed the suspect was sent photos of a female undercover officer, according to the DA.
Tselios set up a meeting with the girl he believed to be only 14 years old at a Forest Hills eatery with the rendezvous planned for 11 p.m., the DA said.
The undercover female officer depicted in the photos was waiting with other officers for Tselios to arrive and when he did, according to the DA, they took him into custody, finding $500 in his possession.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall