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Former volunteer at Firwood School suspected of child sex abuse

Kenneth Cartlidge arrested and held on $250,000 bail
by: CLACKAMAS COUNTY JAIL Kenneth Cartlidge

A man who volunteered for two years at Firwood Elementary School was accused last week of sexually abusing a child.

Sgt. Ernie Roberts said Sandy police arrested Kenneth Cartlidge the afternoon of Sept. 18. He is lodged in the Clackamas County Jail, with bail set at $250,000.

Julia Monteith, spokeswoman for the Oregon Trail School District, said Cartlidge, 43, was not a volunteer this school year, and the abuse occurred during a weekend -- not at the school.

To volunteer in the Oregon Trail School District, Cartlidge passed a criminal background check prior to the 2009-10 school year. He continued volunteering through spring 2011.

'Naturally, parents are concerned,' said Roberts, who has received many calls from within the school district.

Monteith said Principal Joan Knowlton is fielding phone calls and talking in-person with parents to assure them the incident 'has nothing to do with school.'

The district, she said, has pretty strict administrative regulations for its volunteers, including an application, background check and fingerprint check.

Knowlton and the district planned to mail out letters Tuesday to Firwood families. Monteith said district representatives did not inform parents earlier because they didn't want to interfere with the investigation.

Roberts said Cartlidge was indicted Friday afternoon on two counts of first-degree sex abuse. If convicted, he faces a minimum jail time of six years and three months under Measure 11.

Cartlidge declined to speak with The Post on Monday.