A school security guard and behavioral specialist in North Carolina has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl on multiple occasions, police said.
Mario McIlwain, 26, of Rock Hill, was arrested late Wednesday for allegedly assaulting the girl from February through May at Alexander Graham Middle School in Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer reports.
The girl’s mother told police of the alleged assaults last month, prompting an investigation that led to 27 warrants for McIlwain’s arrest.
McIlwain, who also worked as a behavioral specialist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is now facing nine counts of sex act by custodian, seven counts of statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense and nine counts of indecent liberties with a child. It’s unclear if he’s hired an attorney.
District officials fired McIlwain on Wednesday, WSOC reports.
In a statement to parents and staffers at the middle school, officials said they were following “appropriate legal processes” in the investigation.
“Please know that your child’s safety and wellbeing are my primary concerns at Alexander Graham Middle,” Principal Robert Folk said in a statement obtained by the station. “I expected students, parents and staff to have questions. Please understand that privacy laws prevent me from sharing any details outside of public documents.”
A local resident interviewed near the school late Wednesday said she was troubled by the allegations.
“It’s frightening and it’s very disturbing at the same time,” Silvia Falconi of Charlotte told WBTV. “These are people that we entrust our children to. These are adults that are supposed to be the leaders.”