Former MCPS Paraeducator Charged with Sex Abuse of Minor

Hector Toro | MCPD

A 58-year-old Germantown man has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor and a third-degree sex offense in an incident involving a 7-year-old student, Montgomery County police said.

Hector Hermes Lagos Toro, age 58, of Locustdale Drive was charged stemming from an incident that occurred in the 2010-2011 school year, police said. Then, Toro was a paraeducator at Stedwick Elementary School who allowed the girl to reach into his pants pocket to look for candy, police said.

In March, the victim, who is now 15, came forward to report the abuse, police said.  At the time, Toro was monitoring second-grade indoor recess as part of his role as an instructional assistant at Stedwick, police said.

During an interview with detectives, Toro confirmed that children at the school frequently placed their hands in his pockets in search of treats.

Toro was arrested on the strength of a criminal warrant on Friday, and was taken to the Central Processing Unit.  He was released on $3,500 bail.

Detectives are requesting that parents to talk to their children and call Special Victims Investigations Division detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.

According to a letter the Stedwick community from LaVerne Kimball, associate superintendent of elementary schools, Toro was hired in October 2001 and worked at Stedwick from 2001 to 2012, and at South Lake Elementary School summer school program from 2001–2006. He has not worked for MCPS since 2012, school system spokesman Derek Turner said.

Toro also works for a non-MCPS extracurricular, after-school foreign language program contracted through parent teacher associations. In that role he has worked with children at Wilson Wims Elementary School. The school system is working with the program to determine if Toro served in this role at other schools.

The letter says that police say the charges against Toro only pertain to his time at Stedwick.

“I know that our community finds the allegations as disturbing and upsetting as I do. We expect and require all who work for MCPS to be held to a high standard of character, and these allegations certainly violate that,” Kimball wrote.


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