School Administrators in Colorado Indicted for Punishing Student Who Reported Sexual Assault by Teacher
Three school administrators in Colorado have been indicted for failing to report child abuse or neglect. Principal David Gonzalez and Vice Principal A.J. MacIntosh were named in the indictment. The administrators worked at Prairie Middle School in Aurora, Colorado.
In 2013, a student approached school administrators and accused a teacher of sexual assault. Rather than report the crime and begin an investigation, Gonzalez and MacIntosh asked her to recant her accusations, and then they suspended her. She was also forced to apologize to the teacher, and give him a hug.
The student accused teacher Brian C. Vasquez of sexually assaulting her. She did the right thing, and went to school administrators with her story. According to the indictment, Gonzalez and MacIntosh told the student that her accusation would ruin Vasquez’s career and hurt his family. They then forced her to recant her story. In a meeting with school administrators, Vasquez, and her parents, the girl was forced to apologize to the teacher, and hug him at the end of the meeting. The student was suspended for several days, for making false allegations.
However, investigators now say that Vasquez assaulted that student and several others over a 4-year stretch. MacIntosh and Gonzalez claim they do not remember the report made by the student. The abuse continued for years because of their failure to report.
Vasquez was arrested and charged with 37 counts related to sexual contact and communication between him and as many as 5 female students. Authorities say the former teacher confessed to multiple sex crimes during the investigation. But prosecutors believe there may be more victims.
Both Gonzalez and MacIntosh have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case. Another former school administrator, counselor Cheryl Somers-Wegienka, was also named in the indictment. Vasquez has also been placed on administrative leave. The school administrators are due back in court at the end of the month.
(Image: Fox31 Denver)