Washington DC Oct 31 2010 A former Prince George’s County private school teacher was arrested early Thursday and charged with second-degree rape of an underage female student after the victim approached police last month to report the crimes, which allegedly occurred between 1999 and 2001.
Fernando Antonio Asturizaga, 44, of the unit block of School Street in Montpelier, Vt., was arrested early Thursday morning in Montgomery County after county police, working with the victim, set up a sting operation to arrest him, said county police spokesman Cpl. Dan Friz.
“It was part of the investigation; it was a sting,” he said. “[The victim] assisted in the investigation, but I don’t know anything more about the arrest.”
The abuse, which police say included everything from vaginal intercourse to digital penetration and oral sex, began around 1999 while Asturizaga was the victim’s teacher at an as-yet-undisclosed private school in Prince George’s County, Friz said. At some point, Asturizaga began to babysit the victim at her Silver Spring home and at a second residence in Bethesda where the abuse took place, police said.
The victim, who was born in 1988, was anywhere from 10 to 12 years old during the period of abuse, Friz said, adding that the victim approached police on her own last month to report the crimes.
“That was the first that we were made aware of the situation,” Friz said. “From there, Det. [Katie] Leggett initiated an investigation into the case, and … in the statement of charges she had gathered quite a bit of evidence to secure an arrest warrant for Asturizaga.”
Many details and precise information regarding the nature of the investigation are not available, largely due to the fact that Family Crimes investigators intentionally wrote a vague and general statement of charges in the case so as not to risk revealing the identity of the victim or jeopardizing the case, Friz said.
Further details of Asturizaga’s past are also unavailable, but an online search of court records reveals he was previously arrested and charged with three counts each of third-degree sexual offense and fourth-degree sexual offense, as well as one count each of second-degree assault and child abuse in Prince George’s County stemming from an incident that occurred in March 2003.
Asturizaga was found not guilty of each of the charges in Prince George’s County Circuit Court in July 2003, the documents state. Asturizaga was listed as living at a College Park address in the 2003 court documents, but his name and date of birth match the current case.
Police were not certain at this point if the cases were related, but police are urging anyone who may have any information about the abuse or who may have themselves been abused by Asturizaga to step forward and contact Det. Leggett in the Family Crimes Division at 240-773-5426.
“We are looking for additional victims,” Friz said, adding that police usually expect additional victims to step forward once the initial charges have been made in a sexual abuse case because abusers often relocate frequently and can target victims in different areas.
Asturizaga has been charged with two counts of second-degree rape, six counts of second-degree sex offense, and two counts of child abuse by a lawful custodian in this case so far, according to police and court documents. He is being held on a $100,000 bond in Montgomery County Detention Center at 1307 Seven Locks Road in Rockville, Friz said.
No attorney information has been listed for Asturizaga at this time.