A Prince George’s County school bus aide has been charged with multiple counts of child abuse and sex abuse in connection with incidents involving two young students with special needs.
Michael Paul Patopie, 38, of Capitol Heights, is accused of inappropriately touching a 4- and 5-year-old while working on a bus that serves special-needs children, according to charging documents filed in Prince George’s County District Court.
Patopie was arrested Tuesday morning, according to county police.
The woman who drove the bus reported two incidents to authorities between Nov. 19 and May 31, saying she occasionally saw Patopie kiss the 5-year-old child, documents state. The student’s mother said her child reported inappropriate touching, police allege in court papers.
The 4-year-old’s great aunt said she noticed that the child’s pants were “open multiple times when getting off the bus,” charging documents state.
Michael Paul Patopie (Prince George’s County Police)
Video footage from the bus captured on Nov. 19 shows Patopie sitting next to the 4-year-old, according to court documents. Although his hand is out of view, the video shows Patopie touching the child, the records state. After the child is dropped off, Patopie touches the 5-year-old in a similar manner, puts the child on his lap and kisses the child’s forehead, police allege.
Prince George’s County Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin M. Maxwell said in a statement Tuesday that he is seeking to immediately fire Patopie given his arrest.
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