Former Coolidge teacher pleads guilty to abusing student | #teacher | #children | #kids

Authorities say Brian Sharp, 34, agreed to spend five years in prison after admitting to having a sexual relationship with a juvenile student.

COOLIDGE, Ariz. — One of the two former instructors with Coolidge’s Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology who were arrested in 2018 for alleged sex crimes with students has accepted a plea agreement in court. 

Brian Sharp, 34, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of sexual conduct with a minor and agreed to serve a five-year prison sentence in the Arizona Department of Corrections, according to the Pinal County Attorney’s Office. 

Sharp will additionally spend the rest of his life on probation and must register as a sex offender, PCAO said. 

Sharp was one of two CAVIT fire instructors who were arrested within weeks of each other in 2018 on similar charges. 

Andrew Hensley of Phoenix was arrested in November 2018 after a student claimed she had been having an inappropriate relationship with the fire instructor. 

Sex toys were later discovered in Hensley’s school office by CAVIT officials, police said. Hensley’s criminal charges remain pending in Pinal County Superior Court, online records show.

Within weeks of Hensley’s arrest, Sharp was indicted for sexually abusing a CAVIT student. Sharp replaced Hensley after he resigned from CAVIT in July 2018 as authorities were investigating allegations against Hensley.

RELATED: Former Arizona teacher arrested for sexual misconduct with 16-year-old

But Sharp would quickly find himself in a similar situation as his predecessor.

According to a report written by the Arizona Board of Education, a Coolidge police officer caught Sharp in the back seat of his car with a 16-year-old student of the CAVIT fire science program. 

The student later told police Sharp had begun texting her earlier in the school year, asking them about their dreams of becoming a firefighter. 

“(The student) stated that this evolved to their meeting away from school, where their relationship progressed from kissing to sexual intercourse in Educator Sharp’s vehicle,” the ABE report states.

When the student attempted to end their relationship, she told police that Sharp allegedly threatened to retaliate. 

“She stated that Educator Sharp began threatening and intimidating her, telling her that if she did not continue their relationship, he would ruin her chances of ever becoming a firefighter and that he would have her kicked out of CAVIT,” public records state.

According to local media reports, Sharp allegedly told the victim he repeatedly stalked her by driving past their home. 

Sharp is currently detained in the Pinal County jail and will be formally sentenced on Jan. 18.

RELATED: Valley teacher allegedly groomed students for years before he was indicted this month

RELATED: Chaparral High School employee accused of sexually abusing special needs student

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