NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A teacher’s aide has been arrested, accused of sexually abusing an autistic 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn.
Police said the alleged abuse took place Thursday on the grounds of P.S. 200 in Bath Beach.
Alameldin Abdelrahim, 62, was arrested Thursday night after police said he forced the child to put his head in his lap inappropriately during school hours, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
Parents were angered by the news and concerned they weren’t notified of the arrest.
“You’re dealing with young children, and they’re coming here to learn and it should be a safe environment,” parent Donna Stern said.
“I had no idea,” one parent told Doris. “My daughter goes to the school but I just found out from you.”
“It’s horrifying, I have two kids in this school and it’s scary,” parent Fai Ng said, adding that he’ll have a conversation with his children about the situation. “We always communicate with them, teach them to protect themselves.”
Angry parents descended on P.S. 200 and demanded to know why they weren’t notified.
“You can text us about nonsense and (expletive) but you can’t text us about what happened to a child in our school? It’s horrible, it’s really horrible. It’s not okay,” Jennifer told CBS2’s Jessica Moore.
“Get my son out of here. This is my only son, and I just don’t think this is cool. We should have been told. I found out when I was at work,” Miguel Alava said.
The New York City Department of Education told CBS2 Abdelrahim was a substitute teacher’s aide working for the school.
Parents question how he could have slipped through the cracks.
“They have to check these teachers that shouldn’t be going on I don’t understand why teachers will want to do something like that I just don’t get it,” parents Edwin Garcia said.
Abdelrahim is facing three counts of sexual abuse, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was immediately terminated and won’t be eligible to work for the Department of Education again.
During a court appearance on Friday, he shook his head at the allegations against him.
The prosecutor said a school employee saw Abdelrahim sitting in a rocking chair inside a kindergarten classroom with the 5-year-old nonverbal, autistic boy, between his legs. The boy’s head was allegedly on Abdelrahim’s groin.
“I really had to puke this morning. Reading it, and knowing I’m about to enter that building with my child. I really had to puke,” Jennifer said.
Late Friday afternoon, the school officially notified parents about the ‘administrative change’ and termination.
The 18 year veteran of the Department of Education has been with the school for 3 years and has no criminal record. It was little consolation for parents.
“It’s sad that we have to prepare our kids for stuff like this,’ Ellesse Colon said.
The school said it will have counselors on hand to talk to students next week.