4 Investigations: Red flags ignored in case involving APS teacher accused of serial child sexual abuse

The classroom

The problems can start with the design of the Valle Vista Elementary classroom. Photos taken by a BCSO detective show the classroom has a large wall near the back of the classroom that separates an area where students hang their coats and backpacks. But photos show Aldaz used a filing cabinet and a large red blanket to cover one of the exits from that space. With just one entrance, the space has created a new private space. The three girls who attended Valle Vista Elementary School told law enforcement that Aldaz sexually assaulted them in this private space. The mom we spoke to wondered how that red blanket and the creation of a private space inside a classroom didn’t set off an alarm for administrators.

“It’s completely covered,” the mother told us. “It’s a thick wall that rises to the top. You can hear when someone is going to walk behind you or across the sides. It’s a hidden area.

KOB 4 has asked APS to comment on these classroom designs, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

Previous CYFD Investigations

In the records, we discovered around 2017, the New Mexico Department of Youth and Children’s Families conducted three investigations into Aldaz and two of them were corroborated.

But did anyone at APS know why CYFD was investigating him? What were the demands? What did CYFD find out? Has CYFD already communicated to APS what they found? No one at CYFD was willing to answer these questions and no one at APS would explain their relationship with CYFD to share cross-information.

What is clear is that despite these two conclusions supported by the CYFD, Aldaz remained in the classroom for three more years, where Aldaz then allegedly assaulted at least one young girl.

“She has changed,” the mother told us. “She must have grown up pretty quickly. She shouldn’t have known about this stuff, but now she does and now she’s 10 and there’s nothing more to hide from her.

The administrators did not take the concerns seriously

This mother is concerned that the APS culture does not give parents enough voice when they worry about what is going on inside the classroom. She says that when she went to meet the administrators of Valle Vista Elementary School, she was initially blown away.

“The secretary asked, ‘What do you need?’ and we said, ‘we have to talk to the principal.’ Then she asked, “why? And we told him why. When the principal came in, the clerk said, “This family is here to talk to you” and she said, “I don’t have time for this.

According to the mother, the manager called back two days later and overheard her concerns. The APS put Aldaz on administrative leave on January 12, 2020 and he has not returned to a classroom since.

Aldaz is in pre-trial detention. He faces a total of 24 charges involving the four victims. Aldaz has taught at Edward Gonzales Elementary, Helen Cordero Elementary, and Valle Vista Elementary. He has also taught children’s yoga classes. BCSO detectives fear that Aldaz has attacked other young girls who may not have come forward. Anyone with concerns about Aldaz is encouraged to speak to BCSO detectives.

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