Trial begins for former bus driver accused of child sex abuse

Trial begins for former bus driver accused of child sex abuse

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The trial of a former bus driver accused of committing sexual acts on a child began Tuesday morning in a Jackson County courtroom.

Sergio Sandoval used to drive a bus for the Ocean Springs School District. He was arrested in 2014 after an 8-year-old Oak Park Elementary student reported Sandoval touched her outside and inside her pants on several occasions.

The child told police Sandoval said it was "their secret" and not to tell anyone.

During opening arguments, prosecutors revealed graphic details of what the girl alleges Sandoval did to her. The alleged abuse happened on Sandoval's bus between Sept. 15, 2014 and Oct. 7, 2014.

Prosecutors said surveillance video from the bus shows the girl frequently spent time up front with Sandoval.

Sandoval reportedly told the girl she was his bus monitor and even gave her a certificate for good behavior.

The district attorney's office said the abuse escalated on Oct. 6, 2014. Sandoval reportedly gave the girl the certificate for good behavior the next day.

That night, the girl reportedly told her father about the alleged abuse, and they filed a report with Ocean Springs police.

Attorneys representing Sandoval said the girl spent time in the front of his bus because she was his bus monitor, and video from the bus does not show her being touched.

Sandoval's attorneys also pointed out he didn't have any other complaints from students in his six years as a bus driver.

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