2nd-grade teacher in Fort Worth accused of sexually abusing 10-year-old relative

A teacher was indicted Tuesday on accusations that he sexually molested a 10-year-old relative.

Maximiliano “Max” Ortega, who taught second grade, had been on paid administrative leave since shortly after his Dec. 7 arrest by Saginaw police.

The 67-year-old Saginaw man was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14. If convicted of the first-degree felony, he faces 25 to 99 years in prison with no chance of early release.

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Fort Worth Police and the Tarrant County Sheriff‘s Office are looking for these 10 fugitives. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call. Steve Wilson

Francisco Hernandez, Ortega‘s defense attorney, did not return a message Wednesday seeking comment.

Saginaw police had begun investigating Ortega on Nov. 26 after the girl‘s mother notified police that her daughter had made an outcry of sexual abuse.

Neither the girl nor the mother are being identified to protect the child‘s identity.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the girl had told her mother that the abuse had begun earlier in the year. She told her mother that she told Ortega to stop many times but he told her “to keep it a secret and not tell anyone,” the affidavit states.

The girl had been visiting her relative‘s Saginaw residence in November when Ortega again abused her, the affidavit states. Days later, the girl confided to her mother what had been happening and the mother, in turn, ed Saginaw police, the affidavit states.

Clint Bond, a spokesman, said Ortega had originally been hired by the district in March 2006. He was arrested Dec. 7 at the district‘s Office of Professional Standards, Bond said.

That same day, Bond said, Saginaw police alerted the district that Ortega was being investigated for allegations “not related to his time at Fort Worth ISD.”

Ortega was released on bond with conditions later added that he could have no with minors.

He was placed on leave by the school district on Dec. 11 after returning to the Office Of Professional Standards, Bond said.

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He was jailed again on April 2, after photos surfaced showing him in the presence of minors, a violation of his bond conditions. He has been held without bond in the Tarrant County Jail since that time.

Bond said parents of Ortega‘s students at Morningside were not notified about the allegations against Ortega but the State Board of Educator Certification was advised of the situation.

“We do not interfere with police investigations and they didn’t share information,” Bond said in an email. “His students have been taught by a long-term substitute since that day. We did not send out any formal information because we are only aware of allegations and have no reason to believe this situation involved FWISD.”

Online records show Ortega has a valid teacher‘s certificate but “is currently under review by the Texas Education Agency‘s Educator Investigations Division.”

Deanna Boyd: ,