Music Teacher, 42, Gets 90 Day Sentence For Flashing

NEWPORT BEACH (CBS)  — A former junior high school music teacher who exposed himself to two women — including once during his son’s dentist appointment — was sentenced Thurday to 90 days in jail.

Mark Gerard Petrash, 42, a resident of Lake Forest, was convicted Sept. 28 of two misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure. 

He could have faced up to two years in prison, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Karen L. Robinson gave him three months in jail, three years of formal probation and ordered him to register as a sex offender.

Petrash took his son to an orthodontist Aug. 24, 2009, and while the boy was being treated, he pulled his shorts up so high he exposed his penis in the waiting room. He flashed the receptionist, Deputy District Attorney Marc Caress said.

Petrash, who taught music at Serrano Intermediate School in Lake Forest, was arrested at the school Oct. 1, 2009, Caress said.

After seeing news reports about Petrash’s arrest, a teacher who also works in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, told authorities that Petrash exposed himself to her during a school outing May 8, 2009, Caress said.

Caress said Petrash followed the victim into a hotel restroom and while she was in one of the stalls he exposed himself and rubbed his genitals. Caress said Petrash put his finger to his lips to indicate that the victim should keep quiet.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Michael West

    Mark Petrash is not some relatively harmless flasher. In late 2008, he caught a very young family friend of mine doing drugs in the bathroom at her work. He threatened to tell her boss and get her fired if she didn’t show him her breasts. Sadly, she did out of fear of being fired. He used this, along with the drug use to coerce her into performing sex acts on him over a period of about 5 months. During his final visit, he raped her. As a result, she later attempted suicide and was very nearly successful. While my friend was terrified of going to the police (rightly assuming they would say it was “consensual”), I did go to Serrano Middle School and tell the whole story to Linda Garza, the principal at the time, 5 MONTHS prior to his arrest! I informed her that he had exposed himself to two other young girls at the same business and told her about his different methods for targeting his prey. Apparently, he had business cards identifying himself as a “talent scout” which he used to lure these other girls to a motel where he took nude photos of them. I was stunned to find that the district did nothing, Linda Garza apparently did nothing, and this twisted predator was allowed to continue teaching middle school girls for 5 months after they were informed of his behavior. While I saddens me that this animal only got jail time instead of prison (where maybe he’d have gotten a taste of his own medicine), at least he’s in the system and the next time (and I’m sure there will be a next time), he may get caught sooner before someone else gets hurt.

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