Former Montgomery Co. teacher’s aide charged in abusing 2nd grader

WASHINGTON — A longtime Montgomery County teacher’s aide and contributor to extracurricular and after-school programs was recently charged with sexual abuse of a minor.

Police arrested Hermes Lagos Toro, 58, of Germantown, on March 30. In an interview with detectives, he said he frequently allowed children to reach into his pockets looking for candy.

Hermes Lagos Toro. (Courtesy Montgomery County police)

The victim, who is now 15, was a second-grader at the time. She said Lagos Toro allowed her to manipulate his genitals while she was looking for candy in his pockets.

The abuse happened during the 2010-11 school year while Toro was working as a teacher’s aide at Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery Village. Toro was monitoring indoor recess at the time.

Toro worked at Stedwick Elementary starting in October, 2001, and continued in his role until 2012. He also worked at a South Lake Elementary School summer program for five years starting in 2001 and worked with children at Wilson Wims Elementary School in an after-school language program.

Right now, the charges against Toro only apply to the one complaint that came from his time at Stedwick Elementary.

Montgomery County Associate Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Dr. LaVerne Kimball, wrote a letter to county parents. She called the incident “disturbing and upsetting,” and advised children and parents to contact the Special Victims division of Montgomery County police if they have information that could be helpful to the investigation.

Parents are asked talk with their children about Lagos Toro, and if they recall any similar situations, contact the county police.

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