Bus driver gets 30 years for sexually abusing second-grader

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi school bus driver has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for repeatedly sexually abusing an 8-year-old passenger.

News outlets report 69-year-old Sergio Sandoval was sentenced Wednesday on charges including sexual battery and touching a child for lustful purposes. He maintained his innocence but didn’t testify in his defense.

He was accused of molesting a second-grader when she rode his bus in 2014. The girl testified that Sandoval would drive with one hand and sexually touch her with the other while the bus was filled with children.

This was Sandoval’s second trial in the case. His first ended in a mistrial after he fainted and was hospitalized. Doctors said his illness was stress-related. He was mentally evaluated and found fit for trial.

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