School janitor charged with raping student

April 12, 2011 3:17:29 PM PDT
A janitor at a middle school in Brooklyn is under arrest after police say he repeatedly had sex with a student.

Police say the student was abused over several months in the basement of the Public School of Marketing and Legal Studies in Wingate.

The parents Eyewitness News spoke to are not surprisingly outraged.

Over and over again, they said they send their kids to school assuming they'll be safe, but that is an assumption they cannot make.

"Yeah, I'm going to talk to her," said Pauline Campbell, a parent.

Campbell said she will talk to her daughter, to remind her that no adult has the right to take advantage of her.

"I explained to her, no one is supposed to touch you," Campbell said.

Police say that's what happened inside a school.

The NYPD arrested a 32-year-old janitor from the Public School of Marketing and Legal Studies and accused him of raping a 13-year-old girl at the school.

The girl told her principal about the incident Monday, and he called police and her parents.

Now, other parents want more security.

"They need more supervision. If they have more supervision of the children they'll know when one is missing," said Ivan Pierre, a parent.

How was someone charged with such a crime allowed in a school?

The Department of Education hires custodial engineers for each school and those engineers hire the janitors.

The DOE fingerprints and background checks every single janitor, but a spokesman says the janitor now under arrest had a clean record.

But a clean record doesn't always reveal everything.

"That doesn't make a difference with some people, some people have a bad heart, they'll do anything," said William Thompson, a parent.

Pauline Campbell says the incident offers a scary reminder to parents: Talk to your children about what's appropriate and how to stay safe.

"You have to instill it into them everyday so they know what's right and wrong," Campbell said.

The janitor under arrest, Ambriorix Rodriguez, has worked at this school since 2000.

The Department of Education says he had no prior problems.