A Montgomery County fifth-grade teacher was charged with sexual abuse Thursday amid accusations that he fondled two of his students, police said.

Timothy V. Krupica, 30, of Frederick committed the acts in a classroom at Meadow Hall Elementary School in Rockville during school hours, police said. The incidents began at the start of the current school year and were reported to police Wednesday, said Janelle Smith, a Montgomery police spokeswoman.

The students, 11-year-old girls, told detectives that Krupica fondled them on the outside of their clothes, police said. One victim said Krupica also forced her to touch him inappropriately, police said. The second victim said that Krupica twice tried to force her to touch him inappropriately but that she was able to pull her hand from his grip, police said.

Krupica, who previously taught in Fairfax County, was being held in the Montgomery jail on $100,000 bond and could not be reached for comment Thursday.

A family member said relatives were working to hire a lawyer and declined to comment further. Krupica is scheduled to appear in court at 1 p.m. Friday.

Timothy Vincent Krupica (Montgomery County Department of Police)

Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the county’s school system, said that when the students made the allegations Wednesday, school officials immediately called police and the county’s Child Protective Services agency.

Krupica joined the Montgomery school system in August 2009, and he has been at Meadow Hall since. Krupica was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the completion of a school system investigation, Tofig said.

Parents at Meadow Hall said word circulated Thursday about the arrest of the teacher, who was said to be well-liked. School leaders sent a letter and an e-mail about the arrest to parents.

“It’s not news that any parent wants to hear about their beloved elementary school,” said Denise Fredericks, who has a fourth-grade daughter at Meadow Hall. “But I appreciate that they responded to the seriousness of the allegations, and I trust the people who will be doing the investigation.”

Krupica graduated in 2004 from Wheeling Jesuit University and was co-valedictorian at Bishop Donahue High School in McMechen, W.Va.

In 2004, he was hired in Fairfax County, where he taught at Dranesville Elementary School, Fairfax officials said. According to a 2007 report in the Connection newspaper, he was a space enthusiast who led a popular “young astronauts” program.

Krupica was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense, one count of third-degree sex offense and one count of attempted third-degree sex offense, Smith said.

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.