A former high school teacher will spend time behind bars for sexually assaulting one of his students.
Arapahoe County District Court Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Gabriel Alsina, 37, to 90 days in jail followed by five years of sex offender intensive supervised probation. Alsina pleaded guilty June 8 to one count of attempted sex assault on a child by one in a position of trust, a Class 5 felony. Other counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Alsina must register as a sex offender and surrender his teaching license.
“Teachers are charged with protecting our most precious assets, our children,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Yet this teacher turned his back on that community trust and used his position to abuse a child he was charged with protecting. There is no excuse for what he did.”
Alsina was the drama teacher at Vista Peak High School in Aurora when he met his victim, who was his student. He assaulted her in the school building, in his car and in his home over a period of two years.
“Adults should never manipulate children and take advantage of them, but he took advantage of her for his own ego,” said Deputy District Attorney Lisa Gramer during sentencing arguments. She asked the judge to impose 90 days jail, the maximum allowed under the plea agreement. “Parents send their kids to school thinking their children are going to be safe. The teacher should not be one of the things they are afraid of.”
The victim and her parents also spoke before the judge during the Aug. 10 hearing.
The defendant “posed as a concerned teacher who wanted to help her,” the victim’s mother said. “But he played on her weaknesses, and he is a pedophile.”
“I was sexually abused by a teacher who wheedled his way into my heart,” the victim said. “His hands were constantly touching me in ways no adult should be touching a child. A teacher meant to protect me was the one hurting me.”
“I silenced myself for a predator … Now I want justice for the little girl he hurt.”
Judge Whitaker chastised the defendant and praised the courage of his victim in coming forward.
“When you are dealing with a teacher and a student, there a line, and that line cannot be crossed,” she told the defendant. “It was your job to draw that line in the sand.”
To the victim she added: “You did the right thing in reporting it. I hope you are in a place you can start moving past that.”
She imposed the maximum jail time of 90 days.