Pennsylvania school bus driver accused of sexually abusing nonverbal autistic student
A former Pennsylvania school bus driver was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a juvenile student, police say.
Upper Mount Bethel Township resident Dean D’Amico was charged with multiple crimes, including institutional sexual assault and corruption of minors.
D’Amico, 64, was also charged with unlawful contact with a minor and indecent assault, according to the Palmer Township Police Department.
His female victim is an Easton Area High School student who is also enrolled in Colonial Intermediate Unit 20, a program for students with special needs.
D’Amico drove the girl’s school bus from January 2022 to August 2022.
The victim’s mother told police that she is on the autism spectrum and is nonverbal. The teenager communicated to police by writing down her responses to their questions.
A Palmer Township Police Department spokesman told Fox News Digital that D’Amico allegedly gave the girl a cellphone that he asked her to produce sexual messages and pictures on.
D’Amico allegedly handed the girl the phone during school hours but took it from her at the end of the day. He instructed her not to send photos to him, but to keep them on the phone.
Police began suspecting D’Amico when he was found with the girl in his vehicle in Easton Area High School’s parking lot on December 22.
One of the school’s police officers noticed the car during a patrol. Officers believe D’Amico sexually assaulted her before the officer approached the vehicle.
D’Amico is currently detained at Northampton County Prison.