POTOMAC, MD – There is trouble for a Montgomery County Public School employee charged with child sex abuse, and now some parents are upset that school leaders did not immediately notify them about his arrest.
Arsenio Malondras, 48, of Montgomery Village, is accused of repeatedly beating and molesting a four-year-old female relative. Police said the abuse happened throughout 2004. The victim, now 15-years-old, kept quiet until May 2015 when she contacted police.
The charges are especially concerning because Malondras works as a special education teacher’s aide at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, a post he’s held for the last two years.
Although police arrested Malondras on Wednesday, June 24 MCPS did not notify the at-large school community until after ABC7 News inquired about the incident five days later.
“It just makes me concerned. What else are they not telling us or sharing with us,” WCHS parent Avi Goldscheider stated.
Although the alleged abuse happened off-campus and did not involve a student, parents like Goldscheider feel MCPS should have been swifter in communicating.
“We haven’t heard… I don’t know when this happened, but there has been no public announcement, there’s been nothing that I’m aware of,” Goldscheider added.
An MCPS spokesman said administrators were not keeping the case a secret, but instead working closely with police to craft a proper notification method.
That parental announcement came by way of email Monday afternoon. WCHS assistant principal Doreen Brandes wrote, in part:
“Naturally, such charges are deeply disturbing to us all and I want to ensure our community that we are doing everything we can to ensure a safe environment for all students. We will be communicating separately to families of students that Mr. Malondras worked with at Churchill to inform them of this arrest.”
Malondras lives with his wife of six years in a townhome along the 9400 block of Walburg Way in Montgomery Village. No one answered the front door. When reached by telephone, the 48-year-old teacher’s aide promptly hung-up. His defense attorney was also unavailable for comment.
“Four-years-old? That’s terrible,” Malondras’ neighbor Bob Isackson exclaimed. “It’s something that’s just beyond my comprehension. Four-years- old? No… that’s incredible.”
The timing of Malondras’ arrest is ironic as Montgomery County’s Board of Education voted Monday evening on a new and improved child sex abuse policy. However, many questions still linger, including the timeframe in which parents must be notified following the arrest of an MCPS employee in a case of sexual abuse.
Malondras is charged with sex abuse of a minor, second-degree child abuse and three counts of third-degree sex offense. His next court appearance is July, 24 at 10 a.m. in Montgomery County District Court.
“It’s very upsetting to hear this. It’s devastating, absolutely devastating, and I wish the school had done more,” Goldscheider concluded.