Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) have arrested and charged Thomas Henry Ridges, age 38, of Chase Terrace in Beltsville, Maryland, with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor and a fourth-degree sexual offense related to his inappropriate touching of the juvenile female and his inappropriate sexual conversation with and proposition of the victim.
Ridges’ came into contact with the victim as his role as a Horizon Child Care, Inc. employee. At the time of these offenses, Ridges was also a Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) paraeducator and a coach for Springbrook High School Boys Junior Varsity Basketball team.
On September 5, detectives received information regarding possible sexual abuse of a minor. Investigators determined that on July 20, Ridges offered to drive the 16-year-old victim home from the Horizon facility in Silver Spring. The victim accepted the ride. Ridges did not drive toward the victim’s home. He began to ask the victim if she remembered a time when she was 14 years old and was at a local pool as a camper at Horizon’s summer camp program. Ridges told the victim that he had touched her in a private area and that it was purposeful. The victim had previously believed the touching was accidental.
As Ridges continued driving around, he attempted to engage the victim in a sexual conversation and posed inappropriate questions to include asking her about her previous sexual encounters, asking her about drinking alcohol (as he parked in front of a liquor store), and asking her to send naked photographs of herself to him via cell phone. Ridges also propositioned the victim to engage in sexual acts with him during the car ride.
On September 14, investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Ridges. He was arrested on that day and transported to the Central Processing Unit. He has since been released on bond.
Detectives are requesting that parents of juveniles who attend Horizon Child Care, Inc. or who have had contact with Ridges to talk to their children about possible interactions with Ridges and contact SVID detectives at 240-773-5400 if they believe their child was victimized.
Thomas Henry Ridges
Detectives from the Major Crimes Division – Cold Case Unit have arrested Marlon Michael Alexander, age 39, of Dairymaid Drive in Germantown, for attempting to commit a sexual offense and for committing three, first-degree rapes in the Gaithersburg and Germantown areas during a time period of approximately three years (2007 to 2011). Alexander has also been charged with first-degree burglary in these four crimes as he gained entry into the victims’ homes before sexually assaulting them.
The four incidents of burglary and sexual assault that Alexander has been charged with are as follows:
- On August 11, 2007, at approximately 1:00 a..m., the suspect gained entry into the 25-year-old woman’s home located in the 18200 block of Lost Knife Circle in Gaithersburg and threatened the victim that he would shoot her if she did not perform a sexual act. A struggle ensued and the suspect fled from the residence. The suspect’s DNA was recovered in this case.
- On June 19, 2010, at approximately 3:20 a.m., the suspect gained entry into the 68-year-old woman’s home located in the 20300 block of Beaconfield Terrace in Germantown. He held an unknown weapon to the victim’s head and raped her. The suspect’s DNA evidence was recovered in this case.
- On August 21, 2010, at approximately 4:15 a.m., the suspect forced entry into the 86-year-old woman’s home (Churchill Senior Living Center) located in the 21000 block of Father Hurley Boulevard in Germantown. He was armed with a pair of scissors as he raped the victim. The suspect struck the victim with his hands multiple times before he fled. The suspect’s DNA recovered in this case was identified as belonging to the same suspect responsible for the August 11, 2007, and June 19, 2010 assaults.
- On January 5, 2011, at approximately 12:45 a.m., the victim of the June 19, 2010, rape was victimized again in her home (located in the 20300 block of Beaconfield Terrace). The suspect’s DNA left at the scene matched the DNA left at the three other crime scenes.
Recently, Alexander was developed as a suspect in these sexual offenses. Detectives obtained his DNA via a search and seizure warrant. Yesterday, September 13, the DNA sample provided by Alexander was submitted to the Police Department’s crime lab for analysis. The DNA was analyzed and matched the DNA samples left by the suspect in the four above offenses.
Later that day (September 13), Alexander was arrested on the strength of a Montgomery County arrest warrant at a grocery store in Germantown. He was transported to the Central Processing Unit where he is being held without bond. Alexander is scheduled to have bond review on Monday in Rockville District Court.
Detectives believe it is possible that Alexander committed additional sexual assaults and continue to examine similar unsolved rapes that have occurred in the County.
Press Conference Today (September 14):
Chief Manger will hold a press conference to provide details about this investigation and the arrest of the suspect.
Today, September 14 at 3:00 p.m.
Please note that media will be allowed to enter the Public Safety Headquarters beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Montgomery County Public Safety Headquarters, 100 Edison Park Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878. Lower level.
Please note that no further details of this arrest can be confirmed prior to the press conference.
Previous Press Releases Regarding These Offenses:
- Previous press releases for June 19, 2010 rape:
- Previous press release(s) for August 21, 2010 rape:
- Previous press release(s) for January 5, 2011 rape:
- Previous press releases that address more than one of these offenses:
Composite of Sexual Assault Suspect
Detectives from the Special Victims Investigations Division are investigating a sexual assault that occurred on Monday, August 13 at approximately 11 p.m., at a Rockville apartment complex. Today, investigators are releasing a computer-generated composite and are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspect.
On Monday, August 13 officers responded to the 200 block of Rollins Avenue in Rockville for the report of a sexual assault. Detectives determined that the suspect approached a female who was sitting outside talking on her cell phone. The suspect grabbed the victim forcibly by her shirt, and attempted to remove her pants. The victim fought back and the suspect fled from the scene in an unknown direction.
The victim assisted in the creation of a computer-generated composite of the suspect who attacked her. He is described as an Asian male in his mid-30’s, approximately 5′ 7″ tall with a husky build. He has a broad face with a wide jawline, acne on his cheeks, black hair, and brown eyes. The suspect was wearing a tan baseball cap, a tan T-shirt, and was not wearing pants.
Detectives are releasing the computer-generated composite and are asking anyone with information about this incident or the suspect to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5050. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment of the suspect.
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Detectives with the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division have been investigating the reports of sexual offenses by an individual associated with the Stepping Stones Recovery Houses which provides transitional housing to individuals after treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.
The continuing investigation revealed that on March 21, 2017, a female victim was visiting a resident of the Stepping Stones house located at 602 First Street in Rockville when a man associated with the facility asked to speak to the female victim in his room. When she walked in, he pushed her down on the bed and sexually assaulted her.
During the March incident investigation, detectives were contacted by a second victim at a different Stepping Stones house in reference to an incident occurring in July of 2018. On July 7, 2018 the female victim, who was a resident of the Stepping Stones house located at 208 Reading Terrace in Rockville reported being sexually assaulted by an individual associated with Stepping Stones Recovery Houses. The investigation revealed that the house manager called the suspect and asked for his help in evaluating an intoxicated resident. The suspect arrived and went into the victim’s room on two occasions that evening and sexually assaulted her each time.
Steven G. Mitchell, age 53, of the 600 block of First Street in Rockville, the individual associated with Stepping Stones Recovery Houses was arrested on July 13, for the March 21 incident after DNA comparisons were obtained. Mitchell was charged with second-degree rape, fourth-degree sexual offense, and second-degree assault.
Mitchell was also confirmed as the suspect responsible for the July 7 incident. Today, August 9, he was charged with two counts of third-degree sexual offense, two counts of fourth-degree sexual contact without consent, four counts of second-degree rape, for the July 7 incident. Bond information is not yet available.
Special Victims Investigations Division Detectives are concerned that there are other victims. Anyone who believes that they have been victimized by Mitchell is asked to call detectives at 240-773-5400.
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Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Detectives have been investigating the report of sexual offenses by a Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) bus operator.
The investigation revealed that on Tuesday, July 31 at approximately 12:30 p.m., a MCPS school bus transporting students receiving special education services was stopped in the area of Yates Road in Silver Spring. During the time that the school bus attendant left the bus to assist in the drop off of another student, the driver who remained on the bus, sexually assaulted the 12-year-old female victim. The investigation resulted in charges for inappropriate sexual contact.
The school bus camera captured video of the assault.
Bus operator Etienne K. Kabongo, age 62, of the 7800 block of Mineral Springs Drive in Gaithersburg was arrested on August 5 and charged with second-degree rape, third-degree sexual offense and the sexual abuse of a minor. He is currently being held without bond and is expected to have a bond review today at 1 p.m.
Special Victims Investigations Detectives are concerned that there are other victims. Etienne Kabongo, is known as “Mr. Steve” to some students, and has worked since 2006 as a bus operator, primarily driving for students receiving special needs education, at multiple schools across the County. Anyone who is concerned that a child has been victimized by Kabongo is asked to call detectives at 240-773-5400.
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