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Public records detail earlier school harassment complaint against janitor charged with Rhinelander child sexual assaultSubmitted: 12/04/2018
Public records detail earlier school harassment complaint against janitor charged with Rhinelander child sexual assault
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - A female School District of Rhinelander (SDR) employee made a harassment claim against former janitor Stavros Iliopoulos nearly two months before he was arrested for sexually assaulting a student in a Rhinelander elementary school.

SDR Director of Business Services Marta Kwiatkowski wrote the staff member claimed Iliopoulos "made her uncomfortable by calling her to the workroom or storage and commenting on her looks."

Rules from Victory Janitorial, Iliopoulos' employer, call for the termination of employees in the case of "[a]ny form of harassment or sexual harassment directed towards ANYONE while working during your shift."

But Iliopoulos was fired in November, only after police arrested him for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl at the school. Iliopoulos kept his job after the September staff harassment allegation.


On Nov. 20, Iliopoulos, 65, was arrested after he was accused of taking a female student into a dark closet at Northwoods Community Elementary School (NCES) and hugging, kissing, and touching her. In a brief court appearance the next day, Iliopoulos called the charges "not true."

But nearly two months earlier, Kwiatkowski made notes made about a Sep. 28 meeting including herself, Iliopoulos, Victory Janitorial Operations Manager Matt Palubicki, and SDR Operations Manager Jeff Zdroik. Kwiatkowski wrote:

"[Iliopoulos] denied calling [the employee] into the workroom, but admitted that he comments on people's looks and that he likes to joke around. I asked him to stop, be polite but not to comment on appearance. I told him that he can talk about weather and other things but comments on appearance are not appropriate. I told him not to get too close to people; we all need our personal space. Also, I told him not to have any physical contact with staff members and/or students."

In a Nov. 26 letter to NCES parents, SDR Superintendent Kelli Jacobi and NCES Principal Alex Bontz wrote "there was nothing in [a] background check that would have given us any indication [an assault] was possible." They did not mention the September harassment allegation.

Iliopoulos was not an employee of SDR. Instead, he worked for Victory Janitorial, a company which contracted with the district. The contract between the district and Victory Janitorial, which runs from 2018 through 2021, includes a section on employee conduct.

"Any form of harassment or sexual harassment directed towards ANYONE while working during your shift will result in termination," reads Rule 37.

As of the time of this posting, Palubicki, Victory Janitorial's Operations Manager, had not returned a call seeking to learn why Iliopoulos hadn't been fired after the September allegation.

On Nov. 27, Iliopoulos pleaded not guilty to the charges. He remains in jail on a $50,000 cash bond. He will return to Oneida Co. Court on Jan. 15.

Jacobi chose not to comment on Tuesday.

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