What to Know
- Parents of a 4-year-old boy with special needs say they were told video from a school bus shows their son being molested.
- They were told the same thing happened to another child on the bus.
- A former Prince George's County school bus driver told News4 she reported seeing Patopie inappropriately touching the victims in November.
A school bus aide accused of molesting special education, pre-kindergarten children on a Prince George's County school bus has been indicted, according to the Prince George's County state's attorney.
Michael Patopie, 38, of Capitol Heights inappropriately touched two students while they were on a school bus in November 2015 and in May 2016, police said. He was indicted on multiple counts of child abuse, sexual abuse, assault and sex offenses.
A former Prince George's County school bus driver told News4 she saw Patopie inappropriately touching the victims in November 2015 and reported it to her supervisors. Months later, she anonymously reported the incident to Child Protective Services (CPS).
CPS then alerted the parents of one of the victims, a 4-year-old boy with special needs. The victim's parents were told bus cameras caught the abuse and they were shown enough video to identify their son, but they had not seen the alleged abuse.
The parents said they were told the same thing happened to another child on the bus. According to charging documents, the second victim is 5 years old and reported the alleged abuse to his mother.
The children involved have verbal delays and trouble communicating.
The bus was carrying students from James Ryder Randall Elementary School in Clinton, Maryland. An unrelated investigation found students in the school’s Head Start program were forced to hold objects over their heads for a long time as punishment in June.
Prince George’s County Police confirmed they are investigating the incident, which was reported to CPS May 24 and to police June 20. The boy reported more information to police in August, according to sources. The boy's father said the incident happened in November.
PGCPS CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell said he didn't find out until August, when school started.
Seven months ago, the community was horrified after learning a former teacher’s aide was reportedly sexually abusing students at another county school.