Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ex-aide to dyslexic students in Texas school district charged with abuse of children

From The Express-News in San Antonio, Texas:

A former aide at a Judson Independent School District elementary facility was arrested Nov. 2 on allegations he inappropriately touched at least two students, and officials fear more victims may come forward.

Rogelio Ruiz, 39, was in Bexar County Jail with bail set at $140,000 after turning himself in at the Live Oak Police Department.

He was charged with two counts of indecency with a child and two counts of being involved in an improper relationship between an educator and a student.

Ruiz is accused of molesting two girls while they were in third and fourth grades, said Live Oak police Sgt. Anita Seamans. Police say Ruiz has admitted to the incidents.

Police began investigating in September, when a 16-year-old girl told detectives she'd been assaulted in 2004.

A second girl, a 13-year-old, came forward and told police Ruiz assaulted her in 2007.

Telling the second victim's mother that “a man she entrusted with her daughter's safety actually molested her is the hardest thing I've ever done,” Seamans said at a news conference Tuesday.

A 19-year-old man alleged Tuesday that Ruiz sexually assaulted him in 1997, Seamans said, adding she fears there are other victims. Charges on that allegation are pending, she said.

Ruiz was an aide who worked with students with dyslexia. He was an employee of the district for 12 years, left for unknown reasons in 2008 and has since been unemployed, Seamans said.

In the days since a news conference aired the situation Friday, the district has heard allegations that Ruiz inappropriately touched at least three other children, Judson ISD spokesman James Keith said.

Keith said officials are looking into how the district dealt with the allegations, and on Friday three Judson employees were placed on paid administrative leave.

He declined to name them but said two of them work in the human resources department and the third was the principal of Franz Elementary when Ruiz worked there and now is the principal of Converse Elementary.

“At this point, we have reason to believe that (the allegations) may not have been handled correctly,” Keith said.