A student support specialist at a Twin Cities elementary school is charged with sexually assaulting two students.
David Joseph Madrigal, 54, of Minneapolis, is accused of touching the girls, aged 12 and 10, last year while he was employed at the Eisenhower Elementary School in Hopkins.
He was arrested after an anonymous letter was sent to school counselors, identifying him as having touched students inappropriately and making them "feel scared."
Hopkins Public Schools released a statement saying Madrigal is on administrative leave, adding it's "deeply concerned" about the allegations, WCCO reports.
During interviews at the CornerHouse child abuse center in Minneapolis, students told investigators how Madrigal would rub their shoulders, arms and thighs, touch their lower backs, and stare at their bodies. He also gave them candy and commented on how they dressed.
Two of the girls said he went further, with a 12-year-old saying he started touching her when she was a fifth grader in 2016 by rubbing her legs and touching her upper thigh. He also approached her in a hallway and tried to grab her as if to kiss her.
A 10-year-old girl said he would discipline her by locking her in his office, and when there he would tell her she was pretty and also touched her upper thigh.
School officials found post-it notes in a drawer with dating websites, user names and email addresses listed. A study of his browser history found several adult sites in the history log, some of which mentioned "teens."
Madrigal is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13.
Child sex abuse
One study found one in every five girls, and one in every 20 boys, is sexually abused as a child, the National Center for Victims of Crime says. Children from 7 to 13 years old are usually the most vulnerable. An earlier study found three-quarters of children who were sexually abused were victimized by someone they knew well.
In Minnesota, figures have shown one in every 70 children in the state has been sexually assaulted, with teenage girls the most likely victims.
Anyone who wants to report child sexual abuse can get help doing so through the Darkness to Light organization’s helpline at 1-866-367-5444 (FOR LIGHT). Click here for more details.