SILVER SPRING, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - The man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Silver Spring was also working construction for Montgomery County Public Schools.
But FOX 5 has learned James Allen Booker, 59, should have never been on the job because of prior felony convictions.
Parents at Thomas Edison School of Technology and Wheaton High School were notified Monday that Booker had been working at a construction site between the two schools.
“Montgomery County Public Schools is fully cooperating with law enforcement on this matter,” reads the letter. “In his role as a subcontractor, Mr. Booker was not cleared to be inside any MCPS school nor to have direct contact with students. It is important to note that our background check did reveal felony criminal convictions for robbery and drug distribution on his record.”
School district spokesman Derek Turner says Booker’s criminal past should have disqualified him from working as a subcontractor both under school policy and state law. But he says it was the construction company that should have made sure of that after the findings of the background check.
Turner said the school system is now working with contractors to find out if there could be other cases.
Booker was arrested last week after police say he sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in the Wheaton area of Silver Spring.
Police say the child was walking from school in the rain on Georgia Ave. on May 23 when Booker, who’s from Upper Marlboro, offered to give her a ride home.
Investigators say he sexually assaulted her in his car.
He’s charged with one count of second-degree rape and one count of third-degree sex offense.
Even though that crime is not linked to students at the schools where Booker was doing construction, in the letter that went home to parents, school officials say students who have any information should contact the Special Victims Investigations Division of the Montgomery County Police Department at 240-773-5400.