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Former local art instructor charged with sexually assaulting 15-year-old girl

Former local art instructor charged with sexually assaulting 15-year-old girl
(SBCDC Booking Photo)

A former Gering man who used to give private art lessons out of his home is accused of raping a 15-year-old student on two separate occasions in 2014.

45-year-old Steven Barraza, now of Englewood, Colorado is charged in Scotts Bluff County with 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child.

Court documents say the victim contacted authorities in October of 2018 to report the assaults.

Documents say that when the girl was 15, she took private art lessons at Barraza’s house in Scotts Bluff County. After a few months of lessons, he reportedly began messaging the girl on the Kik mobile messaging app and started giving her gifts.

Several months later, Barraza allegedly picked the girl up and took her to his home and had sex. The victim said on a second occasion, Barraza booked a hotel room and brought alcohol and flowers, and the two had sex a second time.

Scottsbluff Police reached out to the Englewood Police Department who spoke to Barraza. He confirmed that he gave art lessons at his home and that the victim was his student.

A warrant for Barazza’s arrest was issued on January 23rd, and he was arrested in Colorado on January 30th.

He is now being detained at the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center on a $150,000 bond at 10%. He is scheduled to make his first appearance on the charge on Friday morning in Scotts Bluff County Court.

If convicted, Barraza would be facing 20 years to life in prison.

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