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Magic camp counselor accused of sexually abusing girl | News

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Magic camp counselor accused of sexually abusing girl

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A camp counselor at Holton-Arms Creative Summer Camp in Bethesda has been charged for inappropriately touching an 11-year-girl, according to Montgomery County police.

Jose Luis Casumbal Valenzuela, 43, of D.C., worked as a camp counselor teaching magic classes at the all-girls school located on River Road in Bethesda.

Police say Valenzuela, who is known as "Jolly the Magician," used the 11-year-old as a part of his acts.

"The victim would assist Mr. Valenzuela in setting up his magic acts. So she reported that some of the incidents occurred while she was backstage," said Officer Rick Goodale with the Montgomery County Police Department.

Valenzuela turned himself into police on Friday and was charged with third degree sex offense and sex abuse of a minor. Goodale said Valenzuela abused the girl more than once between June 30 and July 3.

One mother of a camper at Holton-Arms was surprised to hear of the arrest.

"That is concerning but I don't know very much about it. I'm so sorry to hear that," said the mother after picking up her daughter from Holton-Arms, which founded in 1901.

Valenzuela has been an employee and in charge of teaching magic classes at the camp since the summer of 2012.

Holton-Arms released the following statement:

On Thursday, July 9, we were made aware of an allegation of improper touching of a summer camper by
a camp counselor. It is our understanding that an arrest has been made. We are cooperating fully with
the authorities and cannot share any further information.

Holton‐Arms puts the highest priority on the emotional well‐being and safety of our students. We are
and always have been committed to providing a secure environment for our children to learn and play.
The School conducts comprehensive background checks of our summer counselors annually. We take
these types of allegations very seriously.

Attributable to: Susanna Jones, Head of School

Anyone who believes that he/she was a victim of inappropriate contact with Valenzuela or has information is urged to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5460.

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