Victim’s Mother Questions Vetting Process for Bus Driver Accused of Sexual Assault in Wantage, NJ
The mother of a young girl from Wantage NJ who was reportedly victimized by a school bus driver has spoken out against the vetting process used by the transportation company.
The 41-year-old suspect worked as a school bus driver and was employed by FSZ Transportation Corporation, which is based out of Lake Hiawatha, NJ. As part of his job, the suspect transported the victim between her home in Wantage and a private school in Mahwah, New Jersey.
Mahwah police began an investigation into the suspect after receiving a report that he had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with the 12-year-old victim.
According to law enforcement, the suspect used his cell phone to show the girl explicit photographs of himself while they were alone together on the school bus. Additionally, the young victim reportedly told investigators that she showed the suspect nude photographs of herself.
The suspect was eventually placed under arrest. He has been charged with multiple sex crimes, including aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.
If the suspect is convicted on the sexual assault charges, he faces severe penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, aggravated sexual assault is the applicable charge when the victim is less than 13 years old. A conviction on first degree aggravated sexual assault charges would result in a sentence of 10-20 years in New Jersey State Prison.
The victim’s mother recently attended a meeting of the Sussex-Wantage Regional School District Board of Education. At the meeting, the mother voiced her complaints about the vetting process used by the transportation company that employed the suspect. The mother said that the suspect was never fingerprinted prior to being hired.
The owner of the transportation company responded by telling media that the company had, in fact, conducted a background check on the suspect before hiring him as a school bus driver.
To learn more about this case, view the NJ.com article entitled “Girl’s Mother Questions Vetting of School Bus Driver Arrested on Sex Charge, Report Says.”