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Local teacher accused of sexually assaulting child

By KRDO.com Staff
Published On: Apr 09 2013 04:14:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 12:54:25 AM CDT

Carmen Centennial, 39, arrested and facing three charges.

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. -

Authorities said that a local teacher at a school near Fort Carson sexually assaulted a female student on several occasions.

Carmen Centennial, 39, is accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl between December 2012 and March 2013.  Centennial teaches at Otero Elementary School in Harrison District 2.

Colorado Springs police notified The El Paso County Sheriff's Office of the alleged sex assault on Monday and immediately began investigating.  By Monday evening, Centennial was taken into custody.

Centennial faces felony charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, sexual assault on a child - pattern of abuse, and a misdemeanor charge of sexual assault. 

There is no information at this time that suggests there have been additional victims, said Lt. Jeff Kramer of the Sheriff's Office.  Kramer said the victim is not a student in District 2, and the alleged assaults did not happen on school property.

A KRDO NewsChannel 13 crew went to Centennial's home on Pinyon Jay Drive near Falcon.  A woman who said she was Centennial's wife came to the door, saying she hadn't spoken with her husband and didn't know what was going on.  She declined further comment.

Kevin Wyre, a next-door neighbor, said Centennial has two children and moved into the neighborhood a few years ago.  Wrye said he and Centennial exchanged greetings occasionally but didn't know each other well.

"Certainly, a schoolteacher -- hope it isn't true -- but schoolteachers should not be allowed to do the kind of things that he's been alleged to do, that's for sure," said Wyre.  "He seemed like a good guy.  He hasn't been found guilty of anything yet."

Centennial is in jail with his bond set at $10,000.  If convicted of the felony charges, he could serve between 8 and 32 years in prison.

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