Tue April 9, 2013
AISD Teacher Accused of Aggravated Sexual Assault (Update)
Update: Austin school district police say John Joseph Vasquez, a Blazier Elementary school teacher, was arrested Monday for alleged aggravated sexual assault and improper relationship between an educator and a student.
On April 1, the parent of a former AISD student contacted district police alleging the student had been assaulted as a first grader from January to March of 2011. District police conducted a forensic interview with the child, who did not wish to be identified. Police also conducted a short interview with the suspect. District Police Chief Eric Mendez says there may have been multiple incidences, but the investigation is still ongoing. Mendez says there is no reason to believe there are other victims.
Vasquez, a teacher at Blazier since 2008, was put into custody yesterday afternoon. He is currently on administrative leave with pay. Mendez says the incident happened in the classroom, but he says it is believed that the incident was shielded from the other [children's] view.
At a media briefing Tuesday, Chief Mendez urged parents to talk to their children.
"When these incidences occur, and even when they don't occur, take an opportunity to talk to your child, Mendez said." Help them understand when it's appropriate to be touched, when its not, not just about stranger danger, but even those individuals that your children are around that can be trusted."
Original Story: Austin school district police arrested a teacher at Blazier Elementary school Monday. The teacher is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a former Blazier student.
"Once information concerning the teacher was first reported, police acted immediately to conduct their investigation and work with campus and district officials to ensure the safety of the district's students," AISD said in an email. "There is no information at this time that current Blazier students have been or are in any danger."
AISD has not released the name of the suspect or the time or date of the alleged sexual assault. The school district will take questions about the arrest at a media briefing Tuesday morning.
AISD says parents should speak with their children about what to do if they feel uncomfortable and how to report suspicious behavior to an adult.