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Color guard coach arrested on sex assault charges

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By AJ Vicens

A color guard coach has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault involving female students from Arvada, Alameda, D’Evelyn, Jefferson and Lakewood high schools, the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

William Samuel Paxton, 42, is a former music department instructor and a color guard coach at the schools, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. Investigators recently became aware of the allegations, according to the statement, and Jefferson County Schools are aware of the situation, and Paxton is ineligible for rehire within the district until further notice.

Lynn Setzer, spokesperson for the school district, said Tuesday that Paxton was employed by the district during the 1995-96 school year as an assistant band director at Arvada High School, and in the 2006-07 school year as a music instructor at Alameda High School for the marching band. She said he was associated with the district in other years, including this year, through the Rocky Mountain Color Guard Association, and served in some capacity at Jefferson, Lakewood and D’Evelyn high schools.

Setzer added that the district found out about the allegations from the sheriff’s office.

Investigators believe there are additional victims and are urging anyone with additional information to contact the tip line at 303-271-5612.

Setzer said that, as a matter of routine, the Colorado Department of Education, does background checks on licensed employees, which would include Paxton.

“The allegations are very disturbing,” Setzer said.

Paxton is being held in the Jefferson County Detention Facility on charges of sexual assault and sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Jacki Kelley, spokesperson for the sheriff, said the case is sealed and would not discuss any details, but she did say that, based on past experience, oftentimes additional victims and crimes are found, and that based on information gathered so far in the investigation, that may be the case.

Contact A.J. Vicens at: aj@evergreenco.com.