A special needs assistant at an Etobicoke high school has been formally charged with sexual assaulting a young girl.

Toronto police confirmed Friday that a 43-year-old suspect was arrested on Wednesday in connection with an investigation into incidents that occurred over more than a year, between October 2010 and December 2011.

Police say a 13-year-old girl was the victim.

Parents became aware of the charges Thursday afternoon after receiving a letter from Martingrove Collegiate Institute.

Principal Ralph Nigro said in the letter that a special needs assistant at the school was arrested.

“While it is important to remember that laying criminal charges does not constitute guilt, and that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, we also cannot and do not take these allegations lightly,” the release reads.

“Our practice in a situation like this is to share as much information as we can with you. Please keep in mind that, because this is a police matter, there is much that we cannot share or do not know.”

A meeting for parents will be held Monday night from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

The assistant is currently on home assignment pending the outcome of the police investigation, a representative with the Toronto District School Board told CP24.

A suspect identified as Richard “Rick” Ford is facing two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference, two counts of invitation to sexual touching and two counts of sexual exploitation in connection with the investigation.