Eaglecrest High School band coach arrested on child sex allegations

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A band coach at Eaglecrest High School in Centennial was arrested following allegations he had sex with a student.

Geoffrey Banninger, 23, was arrested Wednesday evening on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and pattern of sexual abuse.

The former part-time band instructor for the Cherry Creek school allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old female student on more than one occasion at his home near Golden in unincorporated Jefferson County, according to a sheriff's office news release.

Jefferson County investigators said they were informed of the claims against the 23-year-old man by Arapahoe County authorities just hours before his arrest.

Banninger, who had also been a volunteer coach with the Arvada High School Band, has been terminated by the Cherry Creek School District and prohibited from accessing the school or students.

The suspect is currently being held at the Jefferson County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Parents and students told Denver7 that Benninger was a percussionist instructor and was known to text students, especially female students.

In a letter sent to parents, the district said it's cooperating with Jefferson County investigators and stressed that “the safety and well-being of all students within Cherry Creek schools is our highest priority.”

His arrest comes amid a series of troubling allegations and charges against teachers and faculty members at other schools within the Cherry Creek School District. 

In January, three leaders at Prairie Middle School in Aurora were indicted on charges they failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by social studies teacher Brian Vasquez on a 14-year-old student in August 2017.

Earlier in the same month, Broderick Lundie, 30, a former Cherry Creek Schools security guard, pleaded guilty to sexual assault of a Grandview High School student.

Eaglecrest High School officials said they will have counselors and mental health workers available for any students who have questions or need support.

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