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Former St. Vrain bus attendant gets 20 months for assaulting a student with disabilities

School, insurance could pay victim nearly $4M
Posted at 11:06 AM, Aug 25, 2017

DENVER — A St. Vrain Valley School District bus assistant learned Friday she will serve 20 months behind bars, five years probation and more after a judge sentenced her for assaulting a student with disabilities. 

Monica Burke, a Firestone resident, admitted in June to kicking and spraying disinfectant in the face of a student who had disabilities while working for the school district. 

During the sentencing, the father of the victim said, "The image of our beautiful child being hated and dehumanized again and again is unbearable."

Burke's guilty plea of second-degree assault against an at-risk person and third-degree assault, added up to both a felony and a misdemeanor. After the guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed 44 original charges against the 52-year-old.

The victim and his family could be paid nearly $4 million in damages, with $1.85 million being paid by the school and insurance to pay nearly $2 million, pending court approval. 

The case, which opened in Sept. 2016 when a student reported seeing a possible assault, is still ongoing for William "Bill" Hall, who is Burke's codefendant in the case who was the bus driver when the assaults happened. 

In addition to Burke's time behind bars, she will serve 360 hours of community service.