Parents claim bus driver sexually assaulted their 3-year-old twins
BY LEEANN SHELTON Staff Reporter June 7, 2012 2:38AM
Updated: June 12, 2012 2:32PM
A Willowbrook couple claims a school bus driver sexually assaulted their 3-year-old twins while transporting them for special education classes.
The parents alleged their twins were abused between October 2011 through last January as they traveled to and from classes at Gower West Elementary in Willowbrook, according to lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The driver allegedly rearranged the students’ drop off schedule so he would be alone with the twins, and sexually assaulted them after parking the bus near their Willowbrook home, the couple claimed.
The Department of Children and Family Services began investigating the driver,on January 6, spokesman Kendall Marlowe said. The investigation concluded May 5 and substantiated allegations of abuse relating to two children, he said.
The driver was added to the state’s central register for child abuse and neglect.
DuPage County Circuit Court ordered the bus driver to have no contact with the family though at least 2014, but a spokesperson for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office had no immediate information on whether criminal charges have been filed in connection with the case.
The suit blames his employer, Grand Prairie Transit, for not equipping its buses with cameras, recorders or GPS tracking devices, the suit claims.
It also names as defendants the school district and the LaGrange Area Department of Special Education, which provides special education classes to students in 16 districts and arranged for the bus service in conjunction with the district. Both failed to provide students safe transportation to and from school, the parents claim.
The 11-count suit claims battery and infliction of emotional distress against both the driver and Grand Prairie Transit, as well as an additional count of negligence against the bus company.
It suit also claims willful and wanton conduct against Gower School District, LADSE, and a LADSE board member. It also makes a claim under the Family Medical Expense Act against all of the defendants.
School and bus officials could reached for comment.
The suit seeks at least $550,000 in damages plus the costs of the suit.