Prairie Middle School leaders indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse

AURORA, Colo. -- Two administrators at Prairie Middle School in the Cherry Creek School District and a third person were indicted on a charge that they failed to report suspected child abuse,

Principal David Gonzales, assistant principal Adrienne "A.J." MacIntosh and school counselor Cheryl Somers-Wegienka were named in the indictments.

Each are facing the same charge, a Class 3 misdemeanor, according to the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office.

The district said Gonzales and MacIntosh have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the court proceedings.

Their first court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 23.

The indictments are related to alleged sexual assaults committed by former teacher Brian Vasquez.

The indictment centers on an allegation made by a student against Vasquez in 2013 who claims Gonzales told her the accusations would hurt Vasquez's career and his family.

The victim said that Gonzales pressured her to recant her allegations and she was told she would be suspended from school for several days, the indictment says.

The indictment says that in a meeting with Gonzales, MacIntosh, Vasquez, a school counselor, and her parents, that she was forced to apologize to Vasquez and hug him at the end of the meeting.

Vasquez was arrested in August on charges he sexually assaulted children. He is facing at least 31 felony counts.

Vasquez, 34, was originally charged with eight felony counts for the alleged physical abuse and exchanging of nude photos with several students.

Prosecutors at the time said they had discovered five victims but that there might be more. The increased number of charges does not indicate additional victims, the district attorney’s office said.

Vasquez, who had taught seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at the Aurora school since August 2011, has been placed on administrative leave by Cherry Creek Schools.

AlertMe