A former Montgomery County Public Schools paraeducator and lunch hour aide has been charged with sexually abusing a 7-year-old female student while he worked for the school system, according to county police.
Hector Hermes Lagos Toro, a 58-year-old Germantown man, was arrested Friday in connection to an incident of abuse that allegedly occurred during the 2010-2011 school year, involving a female student at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village.
The alleged victim, now 15, reported the abuse to police last month, according to a Montgomery County police press release issued Monday.
She told police that Toro was monitoring indoor recess for second-graders as part of his role as an instructional assistant when the incident occurred. Police wrote that he “allowed her to reach into his pockets and manipulate his private area as she searched for candy.”
In an interview with police, Toro allegedly told detectives “children at the school frequently placed their hands in his pockets in search of treats.”
Toro was charged with sex abuse of a minor and a third-degree sex offense.
In a statement to the school community, LaVerne Kimball, an associate superintendent of elementary schools for MCPS, wrote the school system just learned of the investigation and is cooperating with police.
MCPS hired Toro in 2001 and he worked at Stedwick Elementary from 2001 to 2012, according to Kimball. He also worked at a summer school program at South Lake Elementary School in Montgomery Village from 2001 to 2006.
Kimball wrote Toro currently works for an extracurricular after-school language program not run by MCPS, but contracted through parent-teacher associations. In that role, he worked with children at Wilson Wims Elementary School in Clarksburg. Kimball wrote MCPS is looking into whether he worked at any other schools through the extracurricular program, which she didn’t name.
Toro was released Saturday after a bail hearing. He is scheduled to return to Montgomery County District Court in Rockville on April 27.
Police are asking parents whose children might have had contact with Toro to talk to them about their interactions with him. Parents can call 240-773-5400 if they have concerns to report.