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Jury finds former teacher guilty of sexually assaulting elementary school students

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. -- A former elementary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting five young girls was found guilty Tuesday.

An Adams County jury found Gilbert Trujillo guilty on four felony sexual assault charges. The 67-year-old had faced 10 charges.

The convictions are a result of what Trujillo did to the girls, ages 9 and 10, from 2005 to 2011.

They said he kissed, groped and exposed himself when they were his fourth- and fifth-grade students.

The abuse lasted until 2011, when Trujillo was forced to resign. Police launched an investigation about 18 months later and arrested him in June 2015.

Students said the sexual assaults happened in his modular classroom at Dupont Elementary School in Adams County.

Ashley Kuntz, now a teenager, was one of his fifth-grade students. She said nearly two years ago that Trujillo gave her pictures of himself.

She said he also showered her with expensive gifts, of which her mother put a stop to happening.

“They spent so much time after school with him. I called the school to let them know I did not feel comfortable with him doing this. And I want him to stop doing it,” said Kuntz’s mother, Winona Garrett.

She believed Trujillo was grooming her daughter.

An arrest affidavit said the school began getting complaints from parents in 2007, but officials didn’t reprimand him until May 2008, telling Trujillo to avoid hugging students, to keep his hands above or on a table, and to stop using the word “love” in class.

Trujillo resigned in February 2011, but the district rehired him as a substitute a few months later until he was completely dismissed in November 2011.

Trujillo will be sentenced April 18. He faces an indeterminate prison sentence of eight years to life in prison.