AURORA | Former Prairie Middle School teacher Brian Vasquez has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for having inappropriate sexual contact with five students.
Vasquez, 35, pleaded guilty in July to three counts of sexual assault and one each of sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation. He was sentenced Friday.
Vasquez had taught social studies at Prairie Middle School in Aurora for seven years before being fired.
Investigators say much of the sexual contact happened inside the school, as well as in Vasquez’s car. One girl told police Vasquez groped her in class while he was teaching.
Last week, Cherry Creek schools agreed to pay $11.5 million to students sexually assaulted by Vasquez.
The settlement was split evenly five ways, said Abbe Smith, a spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District. Each victim was awarded $2,300,000.
$2,000,000 of the settlement was drawn from school district insurance. The school board met Monday morning to approve the remainder of the settlement, Smith said.
“We acknowledge that no amount of money can right the wrongs committed against these students by Mr. Vasquez,” school district officials said in a statement. ” No student should ever suffer the injury and loss of innocence that these young women suffered as a result of the reprehensible actions of Mr. Vasquez. The district is committed to doing right by these young women and their families and hopes this settlement brings some degree of closure so that they can move on with their lives and continue the healing process.”