SALINAS, Calif. — Police announced Friday morning that a bus driver for the Salinas Union High School District is in custody on five charges relating to the alleged rapes of special needs children over the last 10 years, reports CBS San Francisco.
Police reportedly began an investigation of Bill Harvey, 58, after being alerted on Feb. 22 to a man harassing a female victim. The investigation revealed of that Harvey, a long-time bus driver for the district, had inappropriate relationships with at least two of the children who rode on his bus.
According to the station, police said that Harvey bought gifts and met with at least one victim several times outside of his job duties. The victims, both physically and developmentally disabled, told law enforcement that they were inappropriately touched several times and forced to commit sexual acts against their will.
CBS San Francisco reports that according to Salinas police, the first sexual act occurred eight years ago when one victim was 13 years of age. The acts allegedly continued, with the most recent being last year.
Harvey was booked into the Monterey County Jail on charges of rape of a person unable to give consent, rape by force or fear, lewd acts upon a child, kidnapping and stalking, officers said.
The high school district was notified and is working with detectives on the investigation, which is still ongoing, police said.
The Salinas Union High School District released a statement to KION on the arrest saying that they are cooperating with police and have placed Harvey on administrative leave.
"As law enforcement moves forward we will take the appropriate disciplinary actions. We appreciate the community's understanding and support as we work through this unfortunate situation."
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling the department's tip line at (831) 775-4222 or the We-Tip Line at 1 (800) 78-CRIME.
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