DENVER – The former Prairie Middle School teacher arrested last year and charged with 41 felonies for allegedly sexually assaulting or “sexting” several students of his pleaded guilty Monday to a handful of the counts and faces 40 years in prison.
Brian Vasquez, 35, was originally scheduled for a court hearing Monday, but he pleaded guilty at the hearing to three counts of sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, one count of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of internet exploitation of a child and one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a child.
Vasquez could face up to 40 years in prison per terms of the deal. His sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 28 and he will be held without bond until then.
Vasquez, who had previously pleaded not guilty to the 41 counts, had been set to go to trial in the case on July 26 before Monday’s deal.
He was arrested in August 2017 at the middle school, which is part of the Cherry Creek School District, after an investigation uncovered that he’d had inappropriate relationships with students of his at the school. He'd exchanged nude photos with several of them and had contact with at least one, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors alleged early in the case that Vasquez either exploited or assaulted five different victims over a period of four years. He was alleged to have had physical contact with at least one of the victims, prosecutors said, and he was barred from using the internet after his arrest because he’d sent and received nude photos with some of the victims.
Vasquez, who had previously worked at school districts in the Colorado Springs area before coming to Prairie Middle School, was fired in September after seven years as a social studies teacher and a coach in the “Destination Imagination” program. His arrest prompted charges of failure to report being filed against several school administrators, which are still being adjudicated.
Once the hearing was announced as a plea deal hearing, Contact7 Investigates successfully appealed to get its camera in the courtroom — something that the judge had not originally allowed for the hearing.
This is a developing news story and will be updated.