BRATTLEBORO -- A former career center teacher was sentenced to serve four to 12 years behind bars after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.
During his sentencing Thursday, 50-year-old Oliver Brassard of Brattleboro admitted he repeatedly molested a child between 1998 and 2008 in Brattleboro and Putney.
Brassard, a former automotive teacher at the Windham Regional Career Center, has been incarcerated since his arrest in July 2011.
According to WRCC Director David Coughlin, Brassard worked at the school until 2011. Coughlin said he was "shocked" to learn Brassard had committed the crimes.
As part of his sentencing, Brassard will have to undergo in-patient sex offender treatment while in jail, but won't be eligible for at least the next four years, which Judge David Suntag referred to as "dead time."
Both Deputy State's Attorney David Gartenstein and Brassard's attorney, Bettina Buehler, agreed the length of the sentence "appropriately served justice."
Judge Suntag thanked the victim, the victim's family and Brassard's family for attending the hearing and honored the victim's courage for coming forth about the abuse.
"This is the type of offense that takes away childhood trust, growth and much more," Suntag said. "(Sexual assault of a child) makes it extraordinarily difficult to disclose. It takes great courage to talk about what happened. We need people
When asked if Brassard had anything to say, he addressed the court with solace.
"I've hurt many people by my inappropriate conduct," he said. "It was a violation of trust. I'm not worthy of (the victim's) consideration."
According to court documents, the local victim may not be the only one.
The original investigation involved members of the Brattleboro and Northfield, Mass., police departments. Suntag addressed the allegations saying that it was up to Massachusetts to decide whether additional charges would be pursued.
Josh Stilts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.