Trinidad teacher on leave during police investigation
Accused of sexually assaulting student who's now his sister-in-law
A story of small-town bonds and family secrets is being revealed in Trinidad, as police investigate whether a middle school teacher and former head football coach had improper relationships with female students.
The school district has placed Randy Begano on administrative leave, pending the outcome of a police investigation. His sister-in-law, Kimberly Begano, has accused him of sexually assaulting her while she was in high school.
Begano declined to provide specifics about the assault. She said she's kept quiet until now because she's tired of being pressured for years by relatives, friends and co-workers to keep the alleged assault a secret.
"For many years in our community we've had issues of inappropriate relationships with teachers, coaches and students," she said. "Recently I've been told of other instances that I didn't know were currently happening. And I have a daughter in high school. That's when I decided to come forward."
Begano, speaking outside the Las Animas County Courthouse surrounded by her family, said she fears for her and her family's safety because of threats and intimidation.
"We had a gunshot fired at our home when we reported this to police two weeks ago," she said.
Private investigator Dan Corsentino, who's working for Kimberly Begano, said there have been other incidents as well.
"Eggs thrown, tires slashed," he said. "Activities around her house that have been questionable, suspicious."
Begano was in court asking a judge to make a temporary protection order against Randy Begano permanent. The judge initially denied the request and dissolved the temporary order, but restored it later after Kimberly provided more specifics about why she wanted the order.
Randy's attorney, Tim O'Shea, explained why he wanted the order dissolved.
"Orders can be misused sometimes," he said. "My client was never told what the accusations are against him. If it comes to charges, we'll defend him."
Corsentino said he's investigating the possibility that more school teachers and coaches had inappropriate relationships with numerous female students dating back to the 1980s.
"The question is did people in the district have knowledge that this was taking place, but didn't act to stop it?"
"There are many names of girls and women being brought forward," Kimberly said.
Police and the school district declined comment on the situation.
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