By Tony Kovaleski, Ryan Luby and Brittany Freeman, Denver7
AURORA — Three Cherry Creek school leaders — a principal, assistant principal and former counselor — were indicted on a charge that they failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on a 14-year-old student and, in fact, suspended the student.
The claims arose after Aurora police arrested Prairie Middle School social studies teacher Brian Vasquez in August 2017 and accused him of physical abuse and exchanging nude photos with several students. During that investigation, a recent grand jury indictment says he admitted to sexually exploiting other students beginning in 2013.
The indictment centers on allegations made by a specific student in 2013. The student, identified as “child victim” or “CV,” said Prairie Middle School assistant principal AJ MacIntosh and principal David Gonzales told her the accusations would be devastating to Vasquez’s career.
Cherry Creek spokeswoman Abbe Smith said in a letter to parents that Gonzales and MacIntosh have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the court proceedings.
According to the indictment, the student said MacIntosh pressured her “to recant her disclosure of sexual abuse by Vasquez.” It also says school personnel notified Vasquez of the allegations who later met with the victim to “impress upon her the devastating effects her disclosure would have on his career and family.”
Cherry Creek School Superintendent Harry Bull said he was aware of the indictments but has not read them. “We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office,” Smith said.
Also named in the indictment is Cheryl Somers-Wegienka, a former Prairie Middle School counselor, who is accused in the student’s suspension.
The first court appearance for all three is Jan. 23.
Read the full story at thedenverchannel.com.
Denver Post staff writers Monte Whaley and Kieran Nicholson contributed to this report.