DAVIS (CBS13) — The parents of a young girl with autism are suing two school districts, alleging a bus driver molested their daughter.
They say the bus driver abused their daughter multiple times and accuse the school districts of failing to protect her, or watch the video that shows the alleged crimes.
Because of her autism, they say it was hard for her to tell them what happened.
“She had told me she had an owie and pointed to her private area,” said her mother Emily Gutierrez.
She says her daughter was 6 at the time and told her about the alleged abuse on Aug. 24, 2010, the night after the first day of school. It wasn’t until four years later in August that the parents learned no charges would be filed.
Now she and her husband William are filing a suit against the driver, as well as Woodland Joint Unified School District and Davis Joint Unified School District. Davis contracts bus service from Woodland.
Video provided to Davis Police by Woodland Unified shows the bus driver holding the girl in his lap while driving, kissing her on the lips and sitting next to her, touching the lower half of her body. Also, after she “escaped his grasp” the 6-year-old was observed with the lower half of her dress above her hip area and pulling her dress down.
“The video’s horrifying. You get sick,” said the parents’ attorney Joseph George.
CBS13 is not identifying the bus driver because he was never criminally charged.
According to the Davis school district, he was placed on leave and resigned shortly after.
In separate statements, both districts say they can’t comment on pending litigation, but say they referred the investigation to police back in 2010.
Four years later, the family says they’re still hurting every day.
“I feel she’s distant from her father just for a simple kiss on the cheek—things like that, so it still hits home,” said William Gutierrez.
The parents worry her daughter wasn’t alone, and it could have happened to other children. They say their goal is to prevent the driver from being around kids in the future.