CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A prosecutor indicated in court Monday that Ricardo Mata, a co-owner of PlaySpanish-- a traveling program that used CMS schools to teach children Spanish after-school-- may be charged with more serious crimes after being accused of sexually assaulting a six-year-old child at Eastover Elementary.
The prosecutor said if new charges are filed, they would be connected to the same incidents at Eastover Elementary that he's already been charged with. Mata's attorney said Mata has not yet been indicted on those charges.
The 52-year-old shook his head slightly as he stood before a judge in a jail jumpsuit when a prosecutor detailed the vile sexual act a six-year-old girl claims Mata committed against her two different times at Eastover Elementary School in the fall of 2017.
The young girl claims Mata sexually assaulted her during "lockdown drills" where he would "turn out the lights" in the room and make noises like a "fire alarm" and "all the kids had to be quiet."
Mata was already in jail charged with a separate sexual assault on a child at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Dilworth last summer. He was arrested in mid-March after a 7-year-old girl and her parents came forward with the accusation.
Mata's attorney says his client denies the charges.
CMS superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox sent a letter to parents Friday saying the district is making changes in light of the charges against Mata.
They're starting a task force made up of parents, principals and law enforcement to review policies on volunteers and organizations that use CMS school buildings to operate their programs.
Wilcox has also asked that one of the five new CMS police officers he's requested in the next budget be an expert in "student program safety.”
CMS is reviewing its background check procedures also saying that Mata passed a background check because he had no prior criminal charges.
Parents have contacted FOX 46 with concerns about CMS's handling of the situation with Mata, saying the district should take more responsibility for allowing this man to come into its schools.
FOX 46 requested an interview with Dr. Wilcox on Monday, but we were told he was unavailable.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with additional information concerning these cases is asked to call Det. Lingle at (704) 336-4076 or Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600.