Cherry Creek bus assistant schools faces charges of sexual assault

A former bus assistant for the Cherry Creek School District was arrested last week after he was accused of sexually assaulting an at-risk child and covering bus surveillance cameras earlier this year.

According to a July 7 letter from the school district, 77-year-old Wayne Lee Smith was fired immediately after the allegations surfaced in February.

The letter, sent out to parents the day after the arrest, was shared with families of all students on Smith’s bus route, going back to his January 2019 start date.

The district originally launched an investigation after a bus mechanic noticed black tape placed over a camera on one of the buses, the arrest affidavit stated.

While the bus was down for repair, another was put into service in its place, without the tape, according to the affidavit. When examining videos from the bus, district officials found concerning incidents recorded in the morning and afternoon of Jan. 12.

According to the affidavit, the morning video showed Smith sitting next to and allegedly groping a 12-year-old female student. The video later that afternoon showed Smith covering the camera with a piece of tape.

Smith was immediately fired by the district and escorted from the building after the recordings were discovered, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, when Smith met with a district administrator after the incident, he said he had covered up the camera because he’d heard rumors that bus drivers were being accused of mismanaging children and wanted to protect himself.

The district notified the Greenwood Village Police Department and worked with them during the investigation into the accusations against the bus assistant.

During the investigation, officials uncovered additional videos of Smith interacting with students and covering up cameras, including one showing him rubbing the leg of a 5-year-old student, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, district representatives told officers that Smith had once been a bus driver, but when he was taken off driving duty he became a bus assistant.

The driver of the bus during the alleged incidents said he never saw Smith touch the children, but he was occupied by driving the bus. the affidavit said.

Smith faces a felony charge of sexual assault on a child in a position of trust and two misdemeanor charges of first-degree criminal tampering with evidence.

Sign up to get crime news sent straight to your inbox each day.

Source: Read Full Article