Former bus driver charged with sexual assault of third student

A former Columbia County school bus driver is facing another charge of sexually assaulting a student, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged Gary Dean Edwards, 74, Pardeeville, with an additional count of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.

The new allegation stems from an alleged assault of a 7-year-old girl during the 2015-2016 school year in the town of Marcellon while Edwards drove a school bus for Smith Bus Service, dropping students off to schools in the Pardeeville Area School District.

The girl told investigators Edwards touched her privates while she rode in his lap on the school bus.

Edwards faces two other chargesfiled in May 2019for similar behavior.

A person interviewed at Smith Bus Service told deputies a Rio Community School District administrator had to ask Edwards tostop hugging students, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office incident report.

Superintendent Craig Vetter told 27 News Edwardsstopped driving routesfor the Rio district in 2016 but declined to say why.

He is scheduled to make an initial appearance on the new charge at 10:30 a.m. March 4.

To read more go to WKOW

Photo: WKOW

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