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Brantley County parents allege daughter was sexually assaulted on school bus

9:53 PM, Dec 16, 2013   |    comments
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(AP file)

BRANTLEY COUNTY, Ga. -- There are some serious allegations coming from a South Georgia family.

Parents are saying their daughter was sexually assaulted while on a school bus.

The McNabb family tells FCN they are frustrated and very emotional about what they say happened to their daughter. It is outlined in a Brantley County Sheriff's Office incident report obtained by FCN from the BCSO.

In that report obtained by FCN, Veronica McNabb, the 14-year-old victim's mother, told police that another juvenile inappropriately put his hands on her daughter while on the school bus on October 23 despite telling the boy to stop. According to the district, the alleged incident happened along Browntown road, not far from highway 32.

Veronica McNabb said her daughter then yelled for the bus driver to help her. The bus driver looked in her mirror, continued to drive, according to McNabb. She then started to yell "rape," that's when the boy, after her yelling rape three times, went back to her seat and left her alone, McNabb said. 

The police incident report states the officer reminded the boy at his home about cameras on the bus and him needing to tell the truth. The police report states the officer told the juvenile what he had been accused of. 

The police report states the juvenile "admitted to doing it."

In a "true copy" confirmed by Cindy Crews, the Brantley County Clerk of Superior and Juvenile court, the juvenile boy signed a written petition admitting to the charge of sexual battery. The McNabb's say they attended a recent school board meeting and filed a complaint with the district.

"We have a good kid. She didn't deserve this to happen to her. No kid deserves this to happen to her. It was devastating," McNabb said.

Brantley County Schools School's Superintendent, Anthony Smith, said the district moved the girl to a different bus route, per the family's attorney request.

"We are sad that this situation happened," Smith told FCN. "We just hope the best for both families. Hopefully this will be ironed out pretty soon."

"We want to know why the bus driver did not help our daughter. She should've stopped the bus right then and called 911," McNabb said.

The district also moved the bus driver to a different route.

"She did not see the incident, as far as I know," Smith said. Smith said there was no evidence to support that the driver knew about the incident. But, Smith said if the district discovers something to the contrary, the driver could face disciplinary action.

Smith says the district handled the situation. He also said he spoke to both families and that action has been taken. Smith says he has also been in contact with the McNabb family attorney.

"We're going to do what's right by kids and we're going to punish those kids who violate the rules of the school system and law," Smith said.

Smith said the male juvenile has been disciplined per the school handbook, though he would not go into any detail. Smith said the previous transportation director moved the boy's grandmother to become his route bus driver because it was thought that she could keep an eye on the boy.

Smith said there are cameras on all 50 buses, but they sometimes malfunction. He said there is no video of this incident, but it's a priority to make sure all cameras are working.

"If more information comes out, there may be more issues that we have to address. But, until that point, we feel like we've went through the process of what we're supposed to do," Smith said.

Smith confirmed that he sent a letter to the family's attorney dated December 10.

The family's attorney tells FCN they plan on filing a lawsuit.

FCN did some digging and found no criminal history for the boy's current bus driver and grandmother. The superintendent said there have been no previous complaints about either bus driver.

Smith said there are previous complaints about other bus drivers, which Smith says is normal for a school district, but nothing of this nature this or last school year.

Smith told FCN he would call the victim's family again early this week.

Smith said the situation has been turned over to the school district's attorney and to the police.

First Coast News

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