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Austin ISD teacher charged with sexual assault

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John Vasquez - photo courtesy of AISD John Vasquez - photo courtesy of AISD

An Austin teacher who has worked for the school district for the past five years could be heading to prison for the next 20. Police have accused him of molesting one of his students.

Inside one of the 1st grade classrooms at Blazier Elementary is where police say a 7-year-old girl was molested by her teacher.

Tuesday morning AISD Police Chief Eric Mendez disclosed one other disturbing accusation – it's believed the child's classmates were also in the room when some of the alleged sexual misconduct took place.

"That's still under investigation exactly where the other students were it may have been - may have occurred in the classroom in parts of the classroom that may have not ... been shielded from the others view," said Chief Mendez.

Police arrested 43-year-old John Joseph Vasquez- he is charged with aggravated sexual assault as well as improper relationship between an educator and a student.

A picture from the AISD school website shows a much happier Vasquez, who this school year up until his arrest Monday was teaching 5th graders. Parents with kids at Blazier got a letter with few details except for some safety tips.

"I don't know I'm shocked, I don't have words for that it's …it's amazing so many things," said Dahlia Lopez.

"It is a frightening situation, I'm really surprise I'm scared for the safety of my kids but I'm really hoping that doesn't happen again," said Alejandra Garcia.

Investigators say there was more than one school house assault of the child. They allegedly took place 2 years ago when she was 7-years-old and when Vasquez was her 1st grade teacher.

"They're in the months of January through March of 2011," said Mendez.

Later that year the girl transferred out of Blazier. Her family moved to a nearby school district, but her parents, according to investigators, had no idea anything inappropriate had happened to their daughter a few days ago.

The father told police that his daughter made an outcry around Easter break. He was planning on signing her up for after school classes at Blazier. She refused. Her reason why is now spelled out in graphic detail in the arrest warrant.

According to the court documents, after allegedly assaulting the girl Vasquez called her his favorite and gave her a pillow with the words "I love you" on it.

During his interrogation, Vasquez denied doing anything wrong.

"There are parts of the interview that took place then he requested counsel and the interview stops," said Chief Mendez.

School officials say Vasquez remains on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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