APS volunteer accused of inappropriately touching young boy

Created: 02/26/2014 10:12 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputies say a former Albuquerque surgeon inappropriately touched a young boy while volunteering for Albuquerque Public Schools. They say it somehow happened with other adults, including a teacher, in the room.

Dr. Robert Milne was a volunteer for the “Albuquerque Reads” program, where community members help children learn to read. He went through a background check and it came up clear. But know he’s facing charges for inappropriately touching a kid he tutored.

Albuquerque Public Schools thought the guidelines in place for the “Albuquerque Reads” program, which they organize in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, were already pretty strict.

APS runs background checks for the program, which aren’t required by the state. Volunteers are never alone with the kids.

“It is an open classroom, there's supervision in there, the tutor's never alone with the student,” APS spokesperson Monica Armenta said.

But deputies say even with those safeguards in place, 66-year-old Robert Milne touched a 5-year-old boy inappropriately while volunteering at Atrisco Elementary.

Deputies say the child told his family Milne did it under the table while no one was watching. Deputies say Milne failed a polygraph test when asked about the allegations.

While confident about its safeguards, APS says it will now take another look.

“It's our obligation to do everything we can to vet a process,” Armenta said. “

To make it as secure as possible. So what'll happen now is we'll sit down with the chamber of commerce and go over the process and make sure that we're doing everything humanly possible to keep the kids in a safe environment and away from harm.”

We tried to get hold of Milne tonight to see if he has a response. A criminal complaint says when asked if he’d touched a child he said “no, not that I am aware of, not that I can remember.”

APS says as of Wednesday, they only know of one child who’s come forward.

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