MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, Md. - Montgomery County police have charged a former elementary school aide with sexual abuse of a minor, after a 15-year-old girl came forward with allegations of abuse when she was 7.
Investigators say 58-year-old Hector Toro of Germantown was arrested Friday after an interview with detectives. They say he had worked at two Montgomery County schools, and currently works at an after-school program that is not affiliated with Montgomery County Schools.
According to officials, Toro was an Instructional Assistant at Stedwick Elementary School in Mongomery Village from 2001 to 2012, and worked for the summer school program at South Lake Elementary School in Montgomery Village from 2001 to 2005.
Police say a 15-year-old girl told police Toro sexually abused her while she was a student at Stedwick Elementary when she was 7 years old.
According to police, the incident took place during the 2010-2011 school year during indoor recess.
"So the allegation is this 7-year-old girl was allowed to place her hand into his pants pockets searching for candy and that allowed her to manipulate his private area," said
Sergeant Rebecca Innocenti, with the Montgomery County Police Department.
Police say when Toro was interviewed by detectives, he confirmed that "children at the school frequently placed their hands in his pockets in search of treats."
He is now facing a charge of sexual abuse of a minor and third-degree sex offense. He left Stedwick Elementary, after having worked there as a paraeducator for about 11 years.
"So the school system has put out some information about where he may have worked during these years. Again this alleged incident took place in the 2010-2011 school year, so we want parents to review that information and certainly speak with their kids if they think their children had interaction with this gentleman and if they think any wrongdoing occurred, any abuse may have occurred, please come forward to our police department," said Sgt. Innocenti.
In a statement, Montgomery County Schools said:
"We have also determined that Mr. Toro currently works for a non-MCPS extracurricular, after-school language program, contracted through parent-teacher associations. In this role, he has worked with children at Wilson Wims elementary school. We are working with the program to determine if Mr. Toro served in this role at other schools."
These charges come less than a month after a Montgomery County substitute teacher was arrested and charged for inappropriately touching a student at Cloverly Elementary in Silver Spring.
Detectives are asking parents of other potential victims to contact them. Online court records do not list an attorney for Toro.