(WUSA9) -- A former substitute teacher at Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools has pleaded guilty to some of the child sex abuse charges filed against him.
On Wednesday, Jose Pineda pleaded guilty to two of 10 counts of child sex abuse.
Pineda worked in at least 20 Montgomery County schools from November 2013 to September 2014. From 2000 to 2003 Pineda was a school bus driver, and from 2003 to 2006 he was a substitute teacher for the school system. He served as a substitute teacher again from March 2013 to September 2014.
Police started investigating Pineda for allegedly inappropriately touching a female student at Roberto Clemente Middle School in September 2014 and he was charged with third degree sex offense and sex abuse of a minor. Nine other female students also came forward to report that Pineda touched them inappropriately during the school day.
Andrea McCarren reports that a victim reported sex abuse to the school principal and a counselor in 2004 but they never reported it to police or Child Protective Services.
When a then 12-year-old student tearfully told Forest Oak Middle School's then-principal John Burley and a school counselor about of Jose Pineda's repeated inappropriate touching in 2004, the principal allegedly told her not to report the incident, prosecutors said Wednesday.
According to prosecutors, that principal instructed the girl and her mother NOT to report the incident to police or Child Protective Services. "We don't want to create a scandal," he allegedly told them and assured the family he would "take care of it," and ensure Pineda never subbed at the school again.
Montgomery County Public Schools released the following statement Tuesday:
"We have fully cooperated with the police and the State's Attorney's office on this investigation and, for the sake of our community and the students involved, we are pleased that this case is being resolved. We are not going to comment on the specifics of a case involving a current or past student. However, if any member of our staff becomes aware of an allegation of child abuse or neglect they are to report it directly and immediately to the appropriate authorities, and the principal should ensure that this report has been made. Anything less than that is unacceptable.
"Montgomery County Public Schools is in the process of implementing a comprehensive plan to improve our practices, policies, and protocols related to preventing, recognizing and reporting allegations of child abuse and neglect. We have worked closely with the police, the State's Attorney's office, Child Protective Services, and the community on this issue and appreciate their continued partnership and collaboration. We have hired an outside firm to ensure that we implement this plan as quickly as possible."
I don't see any apology for mis-handling the 2004 case, nor any explanation why Pineda was re-hired in 2013 after the school district was aware of complaints against him. I suspect there will be some lawsuits come out of this, as there should be, otherwise there is no reckoning for the school district administration's irresponsible behavior.
Pineda's sentencing is set for May 29th. He is from Honduras, and the married father of three. As part of his plea agreement, Pineda will serve no more than five years in prison. In addition to his jail sentence, he may also face deportation.