A former teacher in a suburban Washington, D.C., county is accused of sexually assaulting at least nine students during the last decade, and police are urging any other possible victims to come forward.
Jose Pineda, 50, was arrested by Montgomery County, Md., police in mid-October on charges of inappropriately touching a female student at a local middle school. That incident is alleged to have occurred toward the end of September. Since his arrest, nine female students have come forward alleging that Pineda brushed up against them, offered massages and fondled them.
Pineda was employed by Montgomery County Public Schools from 2000 until 2003 as a bus operator and from 2003 until 2006 as a substitute teacher, Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said Thursday. Pineda was then again employed by the district from March 2013 until the alleged incident in September.
Allegations of Pineda inappropriately touching female students date to 2004, Manger said.
"This is very serious, you have girls at a young age in a place that’s supposed to be a safe environment and you have an individual there who they're supposed to trust, but who is sexually assaulting them,” Manger said. "He had opportunity and a lot of access to students."
Police said there is little information on what Pineda was doing while he was not working for the school district between 2006 and 2013.
Pineda is being charged with four counts of third degree sex offense and four counts of sex abuse of a minor, Manger said. Pineda could face additional charges as police investigate. Pineda is being held on $150,000 bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.
Montgomery County spans from Silver Spring to Rockville in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.