Did South High administrators fail to report sex assault allegations?

DENVER - A judge has signed off on the Denver District Attorney's request for a special prosecutor in an alleged groping case out of South High School. 

The special prosecutor will be George Brauchler of the 18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln Counties).

A student at Denver’s South High School reported being groped by two male classmates during a homecoming event in September – an allegation that sparked twin investigations of both the incident and the response of administrators, 9Wants to Know has learned.

Last Friday, a Denver Public Schools administrator announced in a letter to parents that South’s principal, Jen Hanson, and student advisor, Lynette Lucero, had been placed on leave but did not disclose what led to that decision.

Monday evening, a DPS spokesperson told 9NEWS two additional district employees have been placed on leave. That includes Sean Precious, instructional superintendent for DPS, and Barbara Downing, a school psychologist who handles disciplinary issues.

They are both on paid leave. 

The scope for Brauchler's office includes "allegations of unlawful sexual contact and failure to report at South High School," according to the court order.

This means Brauchler's office is responsible for looking into the sexual assault allegations and whether or not school administrators failed to report as mandatory reporters.

The alleged assault occurred on Sept. 14, in the middle of homecoming week, 9Wants to Know has learned.

A female South student reported that two male students groped her, according to a source familiar with the allegations.

She also accused one of the boys of grabbing her hand and forcing her to touch him, the source said.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson confirmed to 9NEWS that the department received a report of “inappropriate touching” on Sept. 27.

Jackson said he could not disclose who called police, and the sequence of events between the alleged incident and the report to police 13 days later is not clear.

At the same time, he said the department is investigating the response of school officials to the girl’s allegations.

“We are aware of it and are looking into it,” Jackson said.

One of the four DPS administrators on leave, Sean Precious, is an adjunct professor in the School of Education at CU Denver. He teaches "Higher Education Administration."

A spokeswoman said that "nothing has changed" as it relates to his teaching. He began teaching as an adjunct in June.

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