Arapahoe High School teacher charged, accused of sexually assaulting student

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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A teacher at Arapahoe High School has been charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, a woman said she was victimized by drama teacher Ian Ahern five years ago when she was an AHS student.

Investigators filed the case with the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and a warrant was issued for Ahern’s arrest. The 41-year-old turned himself in at the Arapahoe County Detention Facility in Centennial on Friday.

Ahern has been a drama teacher at AHS since 2010. Authorities did not specify exactly when the alleged sexual assault occurred. They were notified through the “Safe2Tell” system.

“If you know a child who may have been sexually assaulted, especially under similar circumstances, and believe the incident may be related to this suspect, please contact the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office at 720-874-4020,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. It also said that juveniles are far less likely to report being a victim due to fear, intimidation or embarrassment.

The sheriff’s office advised people to look out for signs of assault that include changes in behavior, nightmares and excessive worrying.

Officials did not release a photo of Ahern in an effort to maintain the investigation’s integrity.

Littleton Public Schools said Ahern has been placed on administrative leave. The school district provided the following email that was sent to AHS staff, students and parents immediately following the sheriff’s office’s announcement:

Dear Arapahoe High School parents, students and staff:

We want to make you aware that this evening the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges against Mr. Ian Ahern, a drama teacher at Arapahoe High School since August of 2010.  Mr. Ahern has been charged with C.R.S. 18-3-405.3(1),(2)(b)  Sexual Assault on a Child – Position of Trust, Pattern (2 counts).

We take student safety extremely seriously. Therefore, immediate action was taken once we were notified of these allegations through Safe2Tell. Based on their serious nature, Littleton Public Schools placed Mr. Ahern on administrative leave and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation.  Under state and federal law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Safe and ethical behavior of our employees are strong values of the LPS Board of Education. Any time we have a concern about inappropriate employee conduct, either on or off campus, we will take appropriate action.

We will continue to cooperate with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office as it investigates. Because this is an ongoing police investigation, we cannot share additional information at this time, but we will when it is appropriate to do so.  If you have information related to this case, please call the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office at (720) 874-4020.

Sincerely,

Brian Ewert
Superintendent
Littleton Public Schools

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