NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police say the teacher’s aide assaulted a nine-year-old girl at a special needs school in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
Kevin Lemon quietly maintained his innocence as he was led in handcuffs by police.
“This is really disturbing to hear, it’s happening right there,” grandmother Nirmala Maloney said.
Sources say Lemon allegedly engaged in sex acts with the girl in the basement of P.S. 59 multiple times in June.
The victim was not a special needs student.
Bryant Baez, whose younger brother and sister attend classes there, was disturbed by the arrest.
“I have to tell my parents because I have a younger sibling over here who is a girl, it can happen anytime, I have to tell them,” Baez told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
The Department of Education says Lemon has been suspended without pay and will remain suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, but parents want to know how the alleged crimes went undetected for so long.
“How often could he have been one on one with the little girl alone? To what extent was he going this? I think the adults need to be more involved,” Nirmala Maloney added.
“There’s new teachers coming in and I’m always questioning, wondering how is the teacher treating you, how are things going, and I think all parents should ask questions,” parent Deysi Cadena said.
Lemon’s family did not want to say anything at his arraignment Saturday.
The suspect’s defense attorney said the 28-year-old was working specifically working with two special needs students who were in kindergarten, while the accuser is in the fourth grade.
The attorney said Lemon was in college before the arrest, studying to be a teacher.