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Former Summer Camp Owner Faces Additional Sexual Assault Charges

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Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office
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Police have charged the former owner of a Charlotte educational summer camp and afterschool program with additional counts of indecent liberties with a child, following allegations that he sexually assaulted minors. 

CMPD arrested Ricardo Mata, 52, last Thursday for the second time after a parent came forward with allegations that he had sexually assaulted her daughter while the child attended an afterschool Spanish class at Eastover Elementary School, police said in a statement. The alleged assault occurred last year and the child was 6 years old at the time. 

Eastover Elementary is a Charlotte-Mecklenburg School. Mata rented space from the school for the Spanish language classes. Police said that Mata was not a CMS employee and the Spanish classes were not associated with the school. School officials are cooperating with the investigation, according to CMPD. 

Mata was also arrested in March on the same charges when parents of another child told police that he sexually assaulted their daughter while she attended his summer camp in 2017. The child was 6 years old at the time of the alleged assault. Mata was also charged with one count of indecent liberties with a child in that case. 

Arrest records show that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have placed a hold on Mata, meaning he could be deported. 

Mata owned and operated “PlaySpanish,” a program that employed native speakers to teach preschools Spanish language and culture, with his wife. The two started the program 20 years ago. The program is no longer running and its website is no longer active. 

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