Teacher's aide accused of molesting kids

June 18, 2009 8:02:49 AM PDT
A teacher caught a teacher's aide molesting a little girl in school, police said.Angel Benitez, 60, lowered his head and tried to hide his face as detectives led him out of the police precinct Wednesday afternoon.

Police say another teacher caught him sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl in a classroom last Thursday.

Benitez was immediately removed from PS 178 in Inwood, where he's worked as a teacher's aide for nine years.

"I'm shocked right now," Alexandra Cartagena said. She sends her 5 year old daughter, Paulina, to PS 178. She said the school has not notified parents about Benitez's arrest. She first heard about it from Eyewitness News.

"They never sent me a note about it," she said.

After allegedly being caught in the act with one child, sources told Eyewitness News that a second child came forward to say Benitez molested her too.

Some parents say the disturbing charges remind them of the need to talk to even very young children about inappropriate touching.

"We're the parents," Nathan Veres said. "We have to step up our game.

Other parents say they're especially surprised because the school, which serves students from kindergarten to second grade, has such a good reputation.

"This is a really nice school," Monica de la Cruz said. "Principal is great. The teachers are nice."

The Board of Education has started proceedings to fire Benitez.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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