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Substitute paraprofessional in Phillips County accused of sexual assault on child

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 14:13:31-05

PHILLIPS COUNTY, Colo. — A substitute paraprofessional at a high school in Phillips County was arrested on a charge of sexual assault on a child after authorities discovered her relationship with a student.

Just before 9 p.m. on Feb. 13, an officer with the Holyoke Police Department noticed a vehicle parked along a dark section of a dirt road. The officer found a male and female in the car. The parties were released at the scene.

Police later discovered that the male provided the officer with a false age and was a high school student at Holyoke High School and the woman, identified as Yessenia Janet Cruz, of Holyoke, was a substitute paraprofessional at the school.

The police department began an investigation into their relationship, which was sexual. They relayed this information with administrators of the high school and the Holyoke School District. Police said they were confident that no other students or staff members were involved, and that the offenses did not happen on school property or during school activities.

Cruz was immediately relieved of her duties, police said.

The school district worked in cooperation through the investigation, which helped minimize any disruption at the school.

Following the investigation, a felony arrest warrant was filed in the Phillips County District Court for Cruz on the charge of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. Cruz turned herself into police.

Police said no other details will be released.