The mother of a 12-year-old girl from Wantage NJ who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a school bus driver has complained about the vetting process used by the suspect’s employer.
The 41-year-old suspect was employed as a school bus driver by FSZ Transportation Corporation, which is located in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey. The suspect’s job required him to transport the victim between her home in Wantage NJ and a private school in Mahwah, NJ.
Mahwah NJ police started to investigate the suspect after they got a report that he had engaged in illegal sexual conduct with the underage victim.
According to authorities, the suspect showed the girl nude photographs of himself while they were alone on the bus. Authorities also allege that the young victim showed the suspect nude photographs of herself on a cell phone.
After conducting an investigation Mahwah NJ police arrested the suspect. He was charged with multiple sex offenses, including aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor.
If the suspect is ultimately convicted of aggravated sexual assault, he faces significant penalties. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:14-2, a person can be charged with aggravated sexual assault when the victim is less than 13 years old. A conviction for first degree aggravated sexual assault could lead to a sentence of 10-20 years in NJ State Prison.
The victim’s mother recently went to a meeting of the Sussex-Wantage Regional School District Board of Education, where she complained about the vetting process used by the transportation company that hired the suspect. The mother alleged that the background check conducted by the company was insufficient and that they failed to fingerprint the suspect prior to hiring him.
The owner of FSZ Transportation responded by saying that the company conducted a background check on the suspect during the job application process.
For additional information about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Girl’s Mother Questions Vetting of School Bus Driver Arrested on Sex Charge, Report Says.”