Austin teacher arrested for sexual assault of former student

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 9 at 5:21 PM

AUSTIN -- A Blazier Elementary School teacher was arrested Monday April 8 and charged with aggravated sexual assault of a former Blazier student, following an investigation by Austin ISD police.

Austin ISD police have identified the teacher as 43-year-old John Joseph Vasquez.

Police said Tuesday the child's parent made the outcry about the multiple assaults April 1, but says the indecent relationship happened two years ago when the then seven-year-old child was in first grade.

In a news conference Tuesday, AISD Police Chief Eric Mendez did not reveal the student's gender in an effort to protect their identity.

Chief Mendez says the student claims they were assaulted on multiple occasions between January and March 2011. The student was in Vasquez's class for one year and is no longer enrolled in the district.

"It's reported to have occurred in a classroom. It's still under investigation where the other students were," said Mendez.

In a letter sent home to parents, Blazier Elementary School Principal Leti Pena informed parents about the situation. The letter did not mention the name of the teacher arrested.

"There is no information at this time that current Blazier students have been or are in any danger," Pena wrote in the letter.

"I think it's terrible. A teacher's supposed to be professional," said Alfonso Cervantes, a school mentor.

Chief Mendez says it's a good reminder to talk to your children. 

"You always have to help them understand when it is ok and where it is ok to be touched," said Chief Mendez.

Additional counselors were available at the school Tuesday.

Vasquez is an eight-year veteran of AISD and taught at Blazier Elementary for five years. He is currently on administrative leave with pay. As of Tuesday evening, he was still in custody with bond set at $100,000.

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