By Mark Ackerman

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – Former Prairie Middle School teacher Brian Vasquez, 34, pleaded not guilty to 41 counts of sex crimes against five of his former students.

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Brian Vasquez (credit: Cherry Creek Schools)

Wearing handcuffs, ankle shackles and an orange jumpsuit, the former social studies teacher entered his plea to an Arapahoe County judge Monday.

Vasquez was arrested last August after a former student told her father that she exchanged sexually explicit text messages with Vasquez. She said Vasquez threatened to harm her friend if she didn’t send naked pictures back to him.

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(credit: Aurora Police)

According to court documents, Vasquez admitted to police that he had “sexted” with four additional students over a four-year period.  In at least two cases, the sexting turned to into physical encounters where Vasquez had sex with the underage girls.

Vasquez was fired from the Cherry Creek School District in September. He is scheduled to stand trial in July.

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Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark