BEAVER TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – A former youth group leader at Victory Christian Center in Boardman is now facing sex charges.
A Mahoning County grand jury indicted Mark Cuprik, II, 22, on charges of sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor, pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor or impaired person, two counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, importuning and sexual imposition.
According to a Beaver police report, the investigation began March 21 when officers were called to Beaver Township Memorial Park for a report that Cuprik was involved in a vehicle chase. The report states that Cuprik had a juvenile in his vehicle at the time.
“The family tried to confront him. A chase ensued between the family and Cuprik. Reportedly, he was going at a high rate of speed, ignoring traffic devices,” said Beaver police Lt. Eric Datillo.
The police report states that Cuprik eventually dropped the juvenile off at the park, where she was reunited with family members.
The incident led police to question family members of the juvenile and leaders at Victory Christian Center, according to the police report.
Police said subpoenas and search warrants were then completed, and through that information, a case was handed over to the grand jury, which returned with an indictment on sex charges against Cuprik.
Cuprik is going to be arraigned on Tuesday on the charges.
Victory Christian’s Board of Directors released the following statement on Friday:
Any abuse, especially that of a minor is abhorrent and should never be tolerated. We are incredibly grieved in regards to the allegations and indictments of a former youth leader at our Boardman Campus. Our Board of Directors are aware of the matter and cooperating with the appropriate authorities. The accused leader was removed immediately from any and all involvement in the church when the allegations first surfaced under previous leadership of VCC in January of 2020.
When current VCC leadership learned more details about the matter, a statement was read to the Boardman Campus providing transparency and condemning the actions of the former youth leader. VCC leadership also has made extra efforts to stay in close touch with the victim’s family, providing support and offering professional counseling to them, offering to pay for all such expenses.
Given that this is now an ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further.
We would welcome you to join us in prayer for all involved especially the victims.