Watch CBS News

Lawsuit: Teacher's Sexual Assault On A Student Leads To Deputy Heath Gumm's Death

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A new civil lawsuit filed in Adams County court scrutinizes the actions of three law enforcement officers and an Adams County Deputy District Attorney for ignoring reports of sexual assault against a witness in the murder of an Adams County Sheriff's Deputy.

The lawsuit, obtained by CBS4 Thursday afternoon, details repeated sexual assaults on a teenage student by one of her teachers in a line of events leading to the death of Adams County Deputy Heath Gumm in January 2018.

Attorneys tell CBS4 The suit was filed on behalf of a female student who claimed Peter Aquino, listed in an affidavit as a "Poetry Advisor" at the Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design. The relationship between Aquino and the female student started in Fall 2015 in Aquino's poetry class. The relationship progressed over the student's time at the school.

After a years-long emotional and physical relationship, documents relating to the case detail how Aquino's girlfriend discovers the relationship and then proceeds to tell Aquino to end it and stop all communication with the student. Then there's a confrontation in the parking lot of an auto parts store, where the student broke the windshield on Aquino's car.

It was later that evening, January 24, 2018, when a group came to an apartment in Thornton where Aquino and his girlfriend lived with friends. According to an interview Aquino did with police provided to CBS4, that group assaulted him, his girlfriend, and one of their friends. That group, three males and a female, included Dreion Dearing, an associate of the female student, according to the lawsuit. In that same interview with police, Aquino said the female student's family had associations with the Crips gang. After the assault, the group ran and huddled near stairs where they kept a baseball bat. It was at that point where they heard gunshots being exchanged between Adams County deputies and Dearing.

Aquino told police he heard from paramedics that an officer had been shot.

The suspect in the deputy's death, 23-year-old Dreion Dearing, is set for a September trial in Deputy Gumm's death. Adams County District Attorney Dave Young is pursuing the death penalty in that case.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.