MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 54-year-old man is accused of inappropriately touching multiple young girls while working as an employee at a Hopkins elementary school.
David Joseph Madrigal, of Minneapolis, faces two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 13 years old. He is now in custody at the Hennepin County Jail. School officials say Madrigal is a school support specialist who works with students with behavioral issues.
Authorities say the conduct took place at Eisenhower Elementary School in Hopkins.
According to the criminal complaint, school officials received an anonymous letter on April 6 advising that Madrigal was touching sixth-grade students in a way that made them feel scared. The school then removed Madrigal from school grounds and identified the students who submitted the letter.
When school officials examined his workspace, they found he visited several adult sites – with some of the sites mentioning “teens.” His computer is being investigated.
According to the complaint, several female students reported that Madrigal would rub their shoulders, arms and thighs, touch their lower backs, stare at their bodies moving his eyes up and down, comment on their clothes and give them candy.
Two victims, ages 10 and 12, reported sexual contact that included Madrigal rubbing their inner thighs. The 10-year-old victim said Madrigal would lock her in his office to discipline her, he was always looking at her breasts and that it made her feel unsafe.
“They got to know him, but obviously they realized his behavior and conduct towards them was inappropriate,” Sgt. Mike Glassberg of Hopkins Police said, “and I’m glad that they had the courage to report this to the school so it’s not going on any longer.”
Hopkins police arrested Madrigal in his apartment on April 28 after he failed to attend a meeting with school staff.
If convicted, Madrigal faces up to 25 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine per charge.
Hopkins Public Schools released a statement, saying Madrigal is on administrative leave.
“The health and safety of our students is the number one priority of Hopkins Public Schools. We are deeply concerned about these unsettling allegations and how they may have impacted our students and our community. We will continue to work with the Hopkins Police Department to insure a safe learning environment for all students. If families have additional information, we encourage them to contact the Hopkins Police.
“On Thursday, April 6, our District was made aware of a complaint brought forward by students regarding a paraprofessional staff member at Eisenhower Elementary. The District responded to the complaint immediately and worked in partnership with the Hopkins Police Department. During the investigation, the employee was placed on administrative leave and a no-trespass/no contact order was issued banning the employee from school grounds and prohibiting contact of Hopkins students and staff. Data privacy laws prohibit us from making further comments at this time.”