Last week, a Pennridge School District bus/van driver was charged with sexually assaulting special needs students in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. James McIntyre, a 74 year old driver who has been driving for Pennridge School District’s Transportation Department since 2002, allegedly touched and exposed himself to two female special needs students who are 14 and 22 years old. In addition, reports also indicated that McIntyre inappropriately touched the female students and forced both students to touch him. He allegedly assaulted the students while the van was stopped at traffic lights.
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The alleged incidents happened between 2009 and 2015 when McIntyre drove the students from their homes in Bucks County to their school in Chester County. He is charged with numerous counts including, indecent assault of a person with a mental disability, institutional sexual assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.
The school district suspended McIntyre without pay and banned him from school property.
Authorities are asking for the public’s help to identify any other possible victims. Anyone with information can call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.
Who is Responsible for a Student’s Sexual Assault on a School Bus?
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a bus driver has been charged with sexually assaulting students. It probably won’t be the last.
In such instances, sex crime victims in Pennsylvania have legal rights. The direct perpetrators may be charged criminally. In addition, victims may have a right to financially recover from responsible parties in a civil lawsuit.
First, the school bus company may be liable for the victim’s sexual assault. If there were previous reports or complaints about the bus driver’s inappropriate behaviors and the school bus company failed to take any action, then the school bus company is likely to be liable.
Second, if students complained to the school, but the school for whatever reason, did not do anything, such as reporting it to the school bus company or proper authorities, then the school may also be liable.
Students may also be sexually assaulted by another student on the bus. Again, the school bus company and the school may be liable for the victim’s injuries and damages depending on the facts and circumstances.
About Brian Kent, a Philadelphia, PA sex abuse lawyer
Mr. Kent is a former sex crimes unit prosecutor and now a Philadelphia, PA sex abuse lawyer. He pursues civil lawsuits with the goal of obtaining the best results for sex abuse victims. If you have questions about a child sex abuse case, call Mr. Kent to inquire about your legal rights.
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*Source: http://6abc.com (Pennridge School District bus driver facing sexual assault charges)