Montgomery County teacher’s aide, coach arrested for sex abuse of teen girl

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County police arrested a Beltsville, Maryland, man Friday after authorities say he inappropriately touched a teen girl and propositioned her for sex. Authorities are concerned there could be more victims.

Thomas Henry Ridges, 38, of Chase Terrace, was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and a fourth-degree sexual offense.

Montgomery County’s detectives say Ridges made contact with the victim while working at Horizon Child Care, Inc.

He was also a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher’s aide and a coach for Springbrook High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball team.

Thomas Henry Ridges, age 38, of Chase Terrace in Beltsville, Maryland has been charged with two counts of sexual abuse. (Courtesy Montgomery County police)

Authorities first got information about Ridges on Sept. 5 and learned that on July 20, he offered to drive the 16-year-old victim home from the Horizon facility in Silver Spring.

But Ridges did not drive her toward her home.

Instead, police say, he asked her if she remembered when he inappropriately touched her when she was 14 at a local pool as a camper at Horizon’s summer camp program.

She told police she thought the touching was accidental.

Ridges allegedly told her it wasn’t an accident.

He then started asking her about her previous sexual encounters, drinking alcohol as he parked in front of a liquor store.

Ridges asked her to send him naked photographs of herself and allegedly propositioned her to engage in sexual acts with him during the car ride.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Ridges Friday. He was arrested that day.

Detectives are asking that parents of juveniles who attend Horizon Child Care, Inc. or who have had contact with Ridges, to talk to their children about possible interactions with Ridges and contact detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.

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