A recent teacher’s aide in Montgomery County has been charged with sexually abusing a middle-school student, police said Friday.
Robert Otis Wilson III, 23, of the 14000 block of Grand Pre Avenue in Silver Spring, was ordered held on $25,000 bond.
Late last year and into this year, according to police, Wilson regularly met the student underneath a set of stairs — out of view of security cameras — at Loiederman Middle School in Silver Spring. He kissed her and touched her “at least once a day for several months during and after school,” the student would later tell detectives, according to court documents.
Police also alleged that on one occasion, Wilson went to the apartment building where the girl lived, sent her a text and then fondled her in a downstairs laundry room. Police arrested Wilson at 9 p.m. Thursday at a restaurant in the White Oak area.
In court Friday, officials said that Wilson appeared to have a clean record, with no adult convictions or other contacts with the criminal justice system. John Lavigne, an attorney who represented him at the hearing, said that Wilson completed two years of college. Several of Wilson’s family members attended the hearing.
“He’s always been a good person,” an aunt, Karen Wilson, said afterward, adding that she doubted the accusations. “I don’t believe it’s true. But if it is true, I wish he would have told somebody so we could have gotten him some help.”
Wilson stands charged with one count of sex abuse of a minor and three counts of third-degree sex offense. He is due back in court May 22.
At Loiederman, Wilson worked as a paraeducator, a position that does not require being a certified teacher. Paraeducators help teachers instruct students.
County school officials said they were “very concerned and disturbed about the allegations” and are assisting the police investigation, according to Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the school system.
Tofig, in an e-mail, said that when the allegations came to the attention of a school staff member earlier this month, “it was immediately reported” to the county’s Child Protective Services and police.
Wilson worked as a paraeducator for the countyschool system from August 2013 through March 30, when he moved to the Division of Food and Nutrition Services warehouse, a job he applied for. School officials said he has also worked as the assistant track coach at Wheaton High School for the past two years. He is now on administrative leave.
Both communities in Wheaton and Silver Spring were being notified of his arrest, Tofig said Friday. Police said the girl last had contact with Wilson in March.