Middle school teacher suspected of sexually assaulting students

AURORA, Colo. -- A middle school teacher in Aurora is under arrest after being accused of sexually assaulting children. The Aurora Police Department believes there are multiple victims.

Social studies teacher Brian Vasquez, 34, has taught at Prairie Middle School for the past seven years. He was placed on administrative leave with Cherry Creek Schools.

The school at 12600 E. Jewell Ave. shares a campus with Overland High School.

He was arrested at the school early Tuesday afternoon police said. He faces three counts of sexual assault on a child in a position of trust (pattern of abuse charging enhancer) and five counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

Vasquez was being held without bond and is due in court on Wednesday morning.

A police mobile crime lab was outside Vasquez's home as investigators continued collecting evidence on Tuesday.

"We believe that there may be additional victims either at the current school of where this teacher is employed or past schools where he was previously employed," Aurora police chief Nick Metz said.

Cherry Creek Schools superintendent Harry Bull joined Metz during a news conference Tuesday night to announce the arrest.

One of Vasquez's former students said Vasquez was a good teacher.

"Deep down I know that I don't believe it's him," the student said. "I don't think it's him. It hurts knowing that he possibly did something like that."

Police, who did not release the number of known victims, believe Vasquez assaulted multiple students and they suspect there are other victims who have not yet come forward.

They want those families to call police at 303-739-6164.

Vasquez's friends and neighbors were in disbelief. Neighbors said he is kind of guy who would help with yardwork or shovel a neighbor's driveway.

"I'm so sad for [the family]," a neighbor said. "It's so heartbreaking."

Police said Vasquez was previously a teacher at schools in the Widefield and Harrison school districts in the Colorado Springs area. Investigators provided a list with time frames of where he worked.

  • Social studies teacher (seventh and eight grade) at Prairie Middle School: Aug. 11, 2011 to current
  • Destination imagination coach at Prairie Middle School: October 2012 to January 2017
  • Teacher at Mountain Vista Community school in Harrison School District 2, (seventh grade geography and eighth grade U.S. jistory): August 2009 to June 2011
  • Teacher at Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield School District 3 (ninth grade geography/social studies, 10th grade world history, 11th grade U.S. history): October 2007 to June 2009
  • Substitute teacher in Widefield School District (grades 6-12, all subject areas): April 2007 to October 2007
  • Student teacher at Janitell High School in Widefield School District (seventh grade geography, eighth grade U.S. history): May 2006 to December 2006
  • Youth worker at San Luis Valley Youth Detention Center in Alamosa: April 2004 to April 2006