The Chicago Personal Injury Law Firm of Abels & Annes has filed a civil lawsuit against a 67-year-old Gompers Junior High School bus driver and First Student Bus Company, in connection with the December sexual assault of a female student.
CBS2 reported Wednesday that the driver was working at First Student despite being dismissed from his job as a Joliet Township bus driver. A police reported from that 2004 incident cites “complaints by student females for sexual harassment.”
The 67-year-old bus driver was charged in December with battery of a 14-year-old girl after being accused of offering the girl candy, touch her chest and buttocks and giving her $3 not to tell.
“I think that any parent would be shocked, horrified to hear that First Student is allowing people to, with these types of backgrounds, to drive their children,” said Annes. Another police report says the defendant offered a girl candy, adusted his miror to stare at her and repeatedly asked for hugs.
“Someone dropped the ball here,” Abels said.
Four other First Student drivers were in trouble with the law last year: One was arrested for exposing himself to a female student; one was caught with child pornography; and another driver was shot and killed by police after a high-speed chase in Riverdale.
The fourth driver was arrested for child endangerment and DUI after losing control of his bus on the Edens Expressway. That driver had been hired despite being fired from a previous job for driving erratically and failing a drug test, according to CBS2.
“I think private citizens have to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough. We’re not going to allow our children to be subjected to this sort of danger,'” Annes said.
In January, Abels & Annes reported here at Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog that a driver at another private busing company, Jewel’s Bus. Co., was charged with sexually assaulting a high school girl on his bus. In September, Abels & Annes reported yet another driver at that company faced civil and criminal charges for reportedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a boy on a Chicago school bus.
Click here for pictures and video of the CBS2 investigation.