Norman Former Teacher's Aid Charged With Sexually Abusing Child

Monday, February 18th 2013, 7:05 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

A former teacher's aid is charged with sexually abusing a child, and parents in Norman tell News 9 they've been warning the school and police about this man for more than a decade.

Not only did the parents notify the school, they sued the district. But the aid who worked with special education children continued to work at the school until 2010 and wasn't arrested until days ago.

Christopher Flores was charged late last week with two counts of lewd molestation of a child for abuse that allegedly took place back in 2009.

According to court documents, Flores admitted to touching a 9-year-old boy inappropriately.

A spokesperson from Norman Public Schools says they have no information suggesting any connection to Mr. Flores' previous employment and the recent charges. But parents of former students in Flores' class claim physical abuse went back to at least 2000.

"My son had been thrown to the ground and restrained in a prone restraint numerous times," said Tammy Maus, whose son was in a special education class at Wilson Elementary. "I think of my little blonde-headed, 6-year-old, 55 to 60 pound little boy being sat on by that monster, and that bothers me. And to think that was only the beginning of what he was capable of."

Kristofer Russow's daughter was in Flores' class five years later. He says he was alerted to his daughter's abuse by a bus driver.

"She was brought to the bus stop tied up with a rope," he recalled the driver telling him.

Russow says further investigation revealed similar abuse as Maus.

"There were restraints that were used that as far as I was told that police officers would use or execute, they were painful, often times the child was sat on," said Russow. "I was told my daughter on one occasion had dirty socks stuffed in her mouth."

Maus and Russow are two of six sets of parents who say they reported abuse to the Norman School District. And they say the district did nothing. They sued, filing at least two separate federal lawsuits. Both ended in settlement.

The parents say they also contacted the Norman Police Department. But nothing happened.

"This shouldn't have happened again, this should have never happened again," said Russow. "I shouldn't have gotten a phone call on Friday notifying me there was another victim,"

In a Statement from Norman Schools a spokesperson says:

"Mr. Flores was a former teacher's aide and his employment with the district ended May 2010. NPS has no information suggesting any connection between Mr. Flores' previous employment by the school and the recent charges, and NPS has not been contacted by the District Attorney's office concerning Mr. Flores.

Mr. Flores was a defendant in lawsuits filed against the district and those lawsuits were settled as to Mr. Flores and all other defendants. The district has no reason to believe that the criminal charges filed against Mr. Flores are connected to the prior lawsuits and sexual abuse was never a complaint raised in those lawsuits.

In regard to rumors that parents previously reported student sexual abuse by Flores and that there has been a cover up by the district comparable to Penn State, such rumors are malicious and unfounded. Any parent who believes his/her child has been sexually abused has a duty to report to DHS and local law enforcement. School officials have that same reporting requirement, and it has been NPS' long-standing practice to promptly report suspected abuse."

Because of the holiday, no one from the Norman Police Department was available to comment.