DENVER – The Prairie (Colorado) Middle School teacher arrested Tuesday on eight counts of child sex assault and exploitation had at least eight victims and had been allegedly abusing his victims over a period of four years, Arapahoe County prosecutors said at his first court appearance Wednesday.
Brian C. Vasquez, 34, won’t be able to contact his two sons except by telephone and won’t be able to use the internet after his arrest, a judge ordered. He also saw his bond set at $200,000 during the Wednesday morning court appearance in Arapahoe County.
The court learned that one of Vasquez’s victims is on medical watch because of mental distress and hasn’t yet been able to fully debrief police, and that one of the victims is currently 16 years old. He had physical contact with at least one of his victims, prosecutors said.
Vasquez was barred for using the internet because prosecutors argued he’d used it to send and receive nude photos from his victims, which he did with at least seven of them, the court heard.
The court also heard that some of his victims said they felt threatened by Vasquez if they did not exchange nude photos with them, and that he allegedly admitted he knew what he was doing was inappropriate.
He won’t be able to see his two sons, aged 6 and 10, and will only be able to talk to them over the phone.
Vasquez showed little emotion in court Wednesday. His parents and brother were both in attendance but did not speak publicly.
Aurora police arrested Vasquez in the lobby of Prairie Middle School on Tuesday, Chief Nick Metz said at a news conference. He faces three counts of sexual assault by a person in a position of trust, and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Vasquez has worked at the school for seven years as a social studies teacher and a coach in the “Destination Imagination” program.
He also previously worked in the Widefield and Harrison school districts in the Colorado Springs area, and spent two years as a youth worker at the San Luis Valley Youth Detention Center.
Metz said Vasquez has “multiple victims” who were students of his, stressed that the investigation was still active, and that authorities believe there may still be additional victims at Prairie Middle School or schools Vasquez worked at in the past.
The district’s superintendent, Harry Bull, said the district had sent out a letter home to parents at 6 p.m., and that the district had no inclination that Vasquez had any history of such abuse when he was hired.
“I’m as shocked as you all are. None of us had any inkling as to anything,” Bull said.
Late Tuesday, Denver7 learned that a security guard who also worked at Cherry Creek Schools, at Grandview High School, was arrested in May on sexual assault and child pornography charges after he alleged exchanged nude photos with several students, and had oral sex with at least one.
Aurora police asks anyone who may have been a victim of Vasquez’s or witnessed his alleged assaults is asked to contact the Crimes Against Children tipline at 303-739-6164.
Vasquez is next expected in court on Aug. 28. Should he be able to post the $200,000 bond, he will have to wear a GPS ankle monitor