School aide charged in child sexual abuse

CRIME WATCH

Baltimore & Region

October 04, 2005|By JULIE BYKOWICZ | JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER

A special education assistant at a Brooklyn junior high school was arrested yesterday after being accused of sexually assaulting a pupil.

Walter Robertson Jr. is charged with second-degree assault, child abuse and committing a third-degree sexual offense because of a monthlong relationship with a 15-year-old female pupil at Benjamin Franklin Junior High, according to charging documents.

Robertson, 27, of the 4800 block of Briarclift Road was being held yesterday at the city's Central Booking and Intake Center.

Bonnie S. Copeland, chief executive officer of the school system, said the staff member was immediately placed on administrative leave pending a school system investigation. Counselors were sent to the school, said Copeland, who declined to comment further, saying the issue is a personnel matter.

Early yesterday at the school, the pupil identified Robertson to police. He was arrested there, taken to the police child abuse unit and advised of his rights to remain silent and to speak with a lawyer, police said.

Robertson and the girl told police that just after the school year began in August, the two would meet in a file room, the charging documents say. Later, the two had several encounters in Robertson's car in the school parking lot, the documents say.

The school, in the 1200 block of Cambria St., has about 450 students in grades six through nine.

The Sun does not identify victims of suspected child abuse.

It was unclear yesterday what grade the girl is in and whether she was in any of Robertson's classes. To be charged with child abuse, a person must have "care, custody and responsibility for the supervision of" a child.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Sara Neufeld contributed to this article.

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