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A volunteer coach with the Arvada High School Band and part-time band teacher in the Cherry Creek School District was arrested on Jan. 7 on suspicion of having sexual relations with a band student who attends Eaglecrest High School in Centennial.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office contacted the Jefferson County authorities about an investigation into Geoffrey Adam Banninger, 23. Investigators believe Banninger had relations with a 16-year-old female student in his home in unincorporated Jefferson County near Golden.
Jefferson County investigators interviewed Banninger and arrested him on suspicion of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and sexual assault on a child, pattern of sexual abuse. Both are class 3 felonies. Banninger was placed in Jefferson County jail on $5,000 bond.
The Jefferson County School District has prohibited Banninger's access to schools and students, and he has been terminated by the Cherry Creek School District. The Cherry Creek School District has counselors and mental health workers available for students who have questions or need support.
Arvada High School Principal Gina Rivas notes in a letter to parents that the investigation is ongoing but that “it is our understanding that all victims have been identified and interviewed by law enforcement. It is also our understanding that law enforcement does not have an indication that there are additional victims.”
In a letter to parents, Carla Stearns, the executive director of high schools in the Cherry Creek School District, wrote: “The district would like to thank the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for its swift action in investigating this matter and the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office for its handling of the initial investigation and support in facilitating the transfer of the investigation to Jefferson County. Strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies help ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff and families.”
Reporter Shanna Fortier contributed to this report.
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