Driver accused of molesting held without bond

Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 17:36:02-04

A Polk County bus driver accused of molesting girls with special needs on his school bus will be held in jail without bond.

Monday morning, a judge found the "presumption of guilt to be great" in the case against Carlos Ojeda, the 72-year-old who worked as a school bus driver for nine years in Davenport and Haines City.

Investigators now say Ojeda targeted very young kids -- as young as four -- who either couldn't speak or had limited verbal skills.

"He picked those victims. He stalked those victims because he knew they didn't have the ability to testify against him," Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Detectives said video from onboard the school bus shows Ojeda get out a piece of candy and lure a child to the front of the bus where he would then stick his hands down the child's pants.

Sheriff Judd said they now know this happened at least 10 times over the last two years to four different kids.

"He didn't decide at 72 years of age to start now. We are confident there must be other victims," he said.

The Sheriff's Office is now confirming there was a bus attendant on board the bus during each sexual assault, but according to the video, she was busy with the kids in the back and didn't see anything.

Judd tried to calm parents' nerves Monday during a news conference with reporters, encouraging them to talk the best they can with their kids and to know that most bus drivers are good people.

"I don't know how to tell you about that one freak of nature that occurs occasionally," he said.

Judd said two boys with special needs saw one of the assaults happen and reported the bus driver because they were mad they got in trouble for cussing.

"It makes your blood boil. There is no the way to describe it," he said.