BY PETER JONES
A 70-year-old former Newton Middle School teacher has been sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting one of his students during a five-year period.
Michael Camelio of Highlands Ranch had pleaded guilty in July to felony sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
After prison, Camelio will spend three years on mandatory probation and register as a sex offender.
“The actions that you committed are ones that would leave many parents frightened,” Judge Jeffrey Holmes told Camelio.
The case came to light in 2016 when the female victim, who by then was then 36, contacted the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office seeking to press charges, said Deputy District Attorney Danielle Jaramillo, who prosecuted the case.
“These allegations came about because the victim was very brave and came forward,” Jaramillo said. “She had to undergo sexual abuse, and for years after she had to live with this in her life. … The people ask for the maximum sentence of eight years.”
Camelio was a computer teacher at Newton and had sexual contact with the girl on school property, according to the investigation. The sex acts continued after the victim moved on to high school and Camelio transferred to Powell Middle School.
Because of the statute of limitations in place at the time, only the later assaults were charged. The penalty range reflected the law at the time of crime.
The victim read a statement in court on Oct. 6.
The defendant “stole my adolescence,” she said. “… I lived with a continuous secret of what was happening to me. It took me years to identify what it was—sexual abuse. … I knew I could not heal until I spoke the truth.”
In a statement, District Att0rney George Brauchler said such cases are among the most difficult his office prosecutes.
“As parents, we entrust teachers with what is most precious to us. The defendant betrayed that trust, victimized a young girl and left her to deal with the trauma for the rest of her life,” he said.
“I applaud her for having the courage to come forward and seek justice,” he said, “and I encourage those in similar situations to do the same.”
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