PASSAIC COUNTY - A Passaic County teacher is facing charges that he sexually abused a preschool student.
The Passaic County Prosecutor's Office says 62-year-old Luis Martinez-Palencia had sexual contact with a student while working as a teacher's aide at School 17 several years ago.
The alleged abuse happened when the boy was between 3 and 5 years old. They say he is now 8 years old and just recently told his mother.
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The victim was a student in Martinez-Palencia's class at the time. Prosecutors say the alleged abuse happened inside the classroom on more than one occasion.
Passaic's superintendent would not say how long Martinez-Palencia worked for the district, and would not comment on the district's hiring policies.
Current employees at the school say the pre-screening process is extensive.
Martinez-Palencia is facing one count of official misconduct, one count of sexual assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors are working with child protective services to determine if he victimized other children.