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Colorado Springs bus driver charged with 10-year-old sex crime

A school bus driver, hired twice by the Widefield School District since 2006, was recently charged with a decade-old sex crime involving a pre-teen boy. The Colorado Springs school employee is jailed on suspicion of child sexual assault by a person in a trusted position.

El Paso County officials say police investigated the case for a year before taking the 48-year-old man into custody. The alleged victim of the assault, now 23, said he was 12 when he and the suspect watched pornography and had sex during parent-permitted sleepovers. The unidentified victim also said he engaged in sex with another boy in the bus driver's presence.

Police did not report why the investigation took as long as it did. The bus driver continued to work for the school district until the day of his arrest.

Two young teenage boys told similar stories about the accused man in the late 1990s. The suspect was acquitted of sexual assault charges in both cases in 2001. Widefield School District was aware of the acquittal at the time officials hired the driver five years later.

A district background check did not reveal that the driver received a deferred sentenced in 1998 for pleading guilty to obstructing justice and harboring a runaway child, a conviction that would have barred the driver's employment.

The bus driving candidate's name was cleared by the FBI, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and El Paso County law enforcement authorities, who also failed to detect old traffic infractions from 1996. Widefield school officials say they are now considering a change in the way they vet prospective employees.

The bus driver was suspended from his job at the time charges were levied, pending the outcome of the case. The Colorado man was jailed on $250,000 bond.

Authorities claim the suspect confessed to assaulting the boy, though the sexual relationship was consensual.

Our law firm handles similar cases. For more information, visit our Colorado Springs sex crimes page.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "Arrest brings Widefield background checks into question," Aug. 23, 2012

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