ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A school custodian accused of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl has been charged with child solicitation.
Gilbert Zamora, a custodian at Carlos Rey Elementary School in southwest Albuquerque, was arrested Wednesday evening
Albuquerque Public Schools officials said Zamora, 24, had been a custodian at the school since January 2009 and worked the night shift after classes were dismissed.
APS spokesperson Monica Armenta said Zamora has been placed on leave.
"This employee we will send to the discipline committee as soon as possible, but he will not be returning to Carlos Rey," Armenta said.
A criminal complaint alleges Zamora set up a meeting with someone he believed to be a young girl but was actually online with an undercover detective. When Zamora went to meet the child for sex, he instead met investigators from SPEED, the multiagency Sexual Predator and Exploitation Enforcement Detail task.
Given Zamora's position as a school custodian, Kevin Abar, the assistant special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New Mexico, said their work is just starting.
"Once we encounter these individuals, these predators, then the investigation really begins to make sure that no other children were ever harmed," Abar said in a phone interview.
APS gathered Carlos Rey Elementary employees for a meeting Thursday morning before classes. A letter was also sent home with students at the end of the school day assuring parents the "safety of our children is always a priority at Carlos Rey" and that the school counselor and members of the district crisis team are available for students.
A Metropolitan Court judge set Zamora's bond at $15,000 Thursday afternoon on a charge of child solicitation by electronic device. Court records show he has another appearance set for Friday morning.
He also is on a no-bond hold for a warrant alleging a probation violation.
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