A Colorado middle school student who told school administrators she’d been sexually assaulted by a teacher was suspended and forced to apologize and hug him, according to an indictment against Colorado school officials.
Two administrators at Prairie Middle School in the Cherry Creek School District in Aurora and a third person were indicted last week on a charge that they failed to report suspected child abuse, according to Fox 31 in Denver.
Principal David Gonzales, assistant principal Adrienne MacIntosh and school counselor Cheryl Somers-Wegienka were named in the indictment on Wednesday.
Each faces a Class 3 misdemeanor, according to the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office.
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In 2013, an unidentified teen reported that she was being sexually assaulted by teacher Brian C. Vasquez, who has since been charged with sexually assaulting and exploiting students, Fox News reports.
The girl said she reported the allegations to MacIntosh and Gonzales, but they told her the accusations would ruin Vasquez’s family and career. They said he was a “valued teacher.”
The teen said Gonzales asked her to take back her allegations, and, once she did, she was suspended.
She said that in a meeting with MacIntosh, Vasquez, Gonzales and the teen’s parents, she was forced to “apologize to Vasquez and hug him at the end of the meeting,” Fox 31 reported.
Vasquez, 34, was arrested in August, accused of sexually exploiting students. Police say the teacher told police he sexually assaulted a student and others.
Vasquez faces “at least 31 felony counts,” court documents stated, including felony counts for charges of abuse and sending nude photos to underage students. Vasquez was a social studies teacher at the school for seven years but has been placed on administrative leave.
The district said Gonzales and MacIntosh also have been placed on administrative leave.
Their first court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 23.