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A Queens teaching assistant, Brett Picou, is charged with improperly touching six 9-year-old girls. Chris Glorioso reports.
A Queens teacher's aide has been arrested and accused of improperly touching children at school.
Brett Picou was arrested Thursday. The 30-year-old PS 52 aide was charged with multiple counts of sex abuse, forcible touching and other charges.
The alleged victims were all girls ages 9 and 10, the Queens district attorney said. They were allegedly hugged and touched over their clothes at various times since November 2011.
Picou's attorney did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.
A 9-year-old student at PS 52 told NBC New York that Picou not only touched children inappropriately but talked to them in a suggestive way, too.
"He was touching my ears like this, and tickling me in my neck," said the girl. "He's always saying, 'Oh, do you miss me? 'Cause if you didn't miss me, you would have hugged me.'"
Picou has been a full time paraprofessional at the school since January 2010, according to the Department of Education. He was placed on administrative leave on Feb. 15.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the department is cooperating with police.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Any individual who has a substantiated case of improper relationship with our children, touching our children -- sexual contact or corporal punishment -- I don't want them in our school system," he said Thursday night, responding to yet more questions about another school employee accused of sexual misconduct.
Picou is the fifth New York City school employee to face sex abuse charges involving students in recent weeks.
Chukwuma Duru, a substitute teacher at Bronx Career and College Prep High School, was arrested Feb. 13, and charged with forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child.
A 49-year-old computer teacher at PS 174 in Rego Park, Queens, was arrested last week on allegations he sexually abused two young boys at the school.
On Feb. 7, a teacher's aide at PS 243 in Brooklyn was arrested for allegedly abusing children, including making pornography with them, and another teacher's aide at PS 87 on the Upper West Side was arrested Feb. 10 on suspicion he sexually abused a child at the school.