A Minneapolis school bus driver is jailed on charges that he molested a 6-year-old girl he drove on his route, authorities said on Tuesday.
Antonio Javier Baltazar-Hernandez, 65, is charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct against a victim under 13 years old, according to a criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court. He remains jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail and awaits his first court appearance Wednesday.
According to charges, Minneapolis police were dispatched to speak with the child's mother, who told the police that her daughter said that her bus driver made her touch his groin area on April 28.
Police interviewed the girl at CornerHouse, where she said she was the last child on the bus and that the driver stopped in a place he normally did not stop. She said he then called her over to him and grabbed her hand and placed it on his groin area over his pants. The girl was shown an anatomical diagram and identified where she was forced to touch.
Police then identified the driver as Baltazar-Hernandez, and bus records show the girl would have been the last child on the bus. GPS records show that the bus stopped at a location that was not a normal stop on the route at a time when the girl would be the only child on the bus. GPS records also showed the alleged incident happened in Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Public Schools spokesman Dirk Tedmon said the district contracts with Septran, a school transportation provider.
"The safety of our students is our highest priority, which is why we require thorough background checks and extensive training for our contract bus providers and school staff." Tedmon said in a statement.