A teacher’s aide at a child care center in northwest D.C. molested a girl enrolled in and after school program on many occasions, according to court documents.
The 8-year-old victim told her mother and another teacher’s aide at CentroNia that Arturo Perez inappropriately touched her over her clothes repeatedly beginning in December, when she was 7, and continuing into late March, authorities said.
The girl told police Perez touched her on the rooftop playground and in her classroom. When it happened in the classroom, other children and staff were present but did not see it happen, the girl told police.
The girl said one time Perez sat down next to her and she tried to push his hand away, according to court documents. Another time, he asked her if she liked it and she said, “No.”
The girl said Perez told her not to tell anyone because it was a secret, according to court documents.
Police said Perez waived his Miranda rights and admitted he inappropriately touched her, according to court documents. He said he had worked at CentroNia for 15 years and had known the victim since she was 4.
Police arrested Perez and charged him with second-degree child sexual abuse.
CentroNia said when police contacted them, they put Perez on administrative leave, sent a letter home to families, told the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and has been cooperating with the police investigation. CentroNia said it was told not to talk about the matter because of its own investigation. It is now investigating its own policies and procedures to ensure safety.