Aurora, CO – Three administrators at a Colorado middle school have been indicted with misdemeanor offenses, after they violated state law and failed to alert police when a student told them she was sexually assaulted by a teacher in 2013.
The administrators also allegedly intimidated the 14-year-old girl, convinced her to drop her allegations, and suspended her as punishment for the supposed false report, The Aurora Sentinel reported.
Prairie Middle School Principal David Gonzales, Assistant Principal Adrienne MacIntosh and former school counselor Cheryl Somers-Wegienka were each charged with a single count of failure to report on Wednesday.
The perpetrator, 34-year-old Brian Vasquez, was charged with 31 counts of sexual assault in August of 2017, after investigators learned that he victimized multiple students over the course of several years, KMGH reported.
In the indictment, the 14-year-old girl was referred to as “child victim,” or CV.
Investigators said that in April, 2013 CV told one of her friends that she had a sexual relationship with Vazquez, and that friend alerted MacIntosh.
In violation of both school policy and state law, MacIntosh opted to investigate the allegations herself, and did not alert police.
Vasquez was made aware of the girl’s disclosure, however, and took the opportunity to “meet with CV and impress upon her the devastating effects her disclosure would have on his career and family,” the indictment read.
MacIntosh then contacted CV, who confirmed that she did, in fact, have a sexual relationship with Vasquez.
“Defendant MacIntosh asked CV to reconsider her disclosure, in light of the affect that it would have on the perpetrator, Vasquez,” the indictment read.
CV told investigators that she specifically told the assistant principal that Vasquez had sexually abused her, but that she hesitated to describe the details of her victimization. In response, MacIntosh told the girl that Vasquez was a “valued teacher,” and pressured her to recant her statement, according to the indictment.
MacIntosh then took CV to Gonzales’ office, where the two administrators questioned the child again.
CV told investigators that she finally gave up and told MacIntosh and Gonzales that she made everything up, at which time they told her she would be suspended from the school.
The school administrators held yet another meeting to discuss CV’s punishment further, and invited her parents and Vasquez to attend. At the conclusion, the child was forced to apologize to her teacher, and was even made to give him a hug.
When the teen was allowed to return to school, she met with MacIntosh and Somers-Wegienka, and was required to rehash the allegations yet again, according to the indictment.
MacIntosh later testified that she “had no memory of any of CV’s disclosures,” even when presented with paperwork she had signed to authorize the teen’s suspension. Likewise, Gonzales testified that he had “no memory” of the girl’s allegation or suspension.
Vasquez faces a total of 37 counts related to sexual assault and sexual texting communications he had with multiple victims during his time as a social studies teacher at the school, the Aurora Sentinel reported.
Police said he confessed to many of his crimes, including the sexual abuse of CV, and that he admitted his sexual contact with teen girls escalated after CV’s allegations.
Cherry Creek School District Superintendent Harry Bull testified that school policy mandates that allegations of child abuse be reported, and that there is no policy that grants school personnel the power to conduct their own investigations.
Gonzales and MacIntosh have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, school officials said.
Somers-Wegienka is no longer employed by the district.