Former Aurora high school employee sentenced to 17 years in prison after preying on underage girls

Posted at 8:56 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 11:10:17-05

AURORA, Colo. — A former employee who preyed on five girls at an Aurora high school has been sentenced to prison.

James Dolmas, 29, was employed as a hall monitor (supervising students and enforcing building security) and theater assistant at Rangeview High School at the time. He used his position to gain the trust of underage girls and then solicited and exchanged sexually exploitative photos with them, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. He had unlawful sexual contact with some of them and had sex in the school with one student.

According to the district attorney’s office, he derived pleasure from violence and the contacts left the girls with physical marks.

Dolmas was arrested in July 2019. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 10 to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The other counts against him were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Prosecutors aimed for a 20-year sentence — the maximum allowed under the plea agreement.

During the sentencing on Nov. 24, many of his victims and their families spoke via Webex.

“What he did using his position of trust left me feeling that I was the one who did something wrong. I did trust him, and I was vulnerable,” one girl said. “I was too terrified and ashamed to tell anyone.”

One mother said it was "soul-crushing" to know she was unable to protect her child.

“The school should be a safe place," she said.

Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Gramer said Dolmas sexually assaulted four girls — something that is not a mistake but is a crime.

"He asked the victims to help him cover up his actions,” Gramer said. “He physically and sexually abused them. He started very manipulative relationships with these victims. … He got them used to pain, because he found that arousing. He did this at the school to students. It was about power and control.”

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Shay Whitaker imposed a sentence of 17 years.

“The sexual contact and the volume of actions and number of girls is very concerning. But what is most disturbing is the violence,” Whitaker said. “He preyed on these girls. ... There is a line in the sand, and no matter what students do, it is the adults’ responsibility to stand hard and fast on the right side of that line. A violation of that trust is shattering.”