DENVER (CBS4) — Craig Debiase, a former high school teacher and girls’ basketball coach, has been sentenced to another 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a student. The former student came forward after discovering she wasn’t the only underage girl he abused.
“I fear that there are other young women that Craig chose to victimize, and I hope that if they hear about me, they find the courage to speak up,” the victim said in her victim impact statement.
The victim was 17 years old and a student at at Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver when Debiase began a sexual relationship with her in 1997.
She came forward in 2019, after seeing news reports of Debiase being sentenced to 12 years in prison for abusing another underage girl at the school.
“It took another courageous victim to come forward and say how he abused her for me to finally see how wrong that situation I was in all those years ago really was,” she said.
Prosecutors say Debiase was also accused of abusing underage girls back in 2005. He took a plea deal and served less than two years in prison at that time.
He was a registered sex offender and had completed “sex offender intensive supervised probation” when he was sentenced again in 2019.
Investigators say they have identified other victims — and suspect there may be more.
“The number of victims we have identified so far is astounding, and the deeper we dig the more we find,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Danielle Jaramillo stated.