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Polk bus driver arrested for sexual battery

Posted at 11:11 AM, Apr 15, 2016
A Polk County School bus driver has been arrested for sexually assaulting special needs students on his bus.
 
According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, Carlos Ojeda, 72, of Haines City is charged with eight counts of Capital Sexual Battery.  
 
According to the affidavit, a student at Horizons Elementary School in Davenport watch Ojeda put his hands down two different female students' pants on different occasions on the school bus.  The student told a school counselor about the incidents.
 
The victims are under the age of 12.
 
"There are no words to describe the depravity displayed by this suspect. He drives a school bus, where he has access to these precious children. He lures them with candy, and physically assaults them in such a way that nobody will see it, or report it," said Sheriff Grady Judd.
 
Surveillance video on the bus shows Ojeda on April 8, 11, and 12 standing in the stairwell of the bus while it is parked at the school.  He is seen motioning to the victims to approach him and shows a piece of candy. 
 
Once the girl is within arm's length, Ojeda pulls her toward him, sexually batters her out of the sight of the other students in the stairwell, and then gives her candy.
 
Ojeda admitted to detectives he sexually battered two girls eight times. 
 
But investigators are looking into whether there are more victims.
 
Friday afternoon, parents outside Horizon Elementary in Davenport were concerned about the other kids with special needs who may have rided the same bus.
 
"What about kids like my nephew? He can't talk, he can't tell you 'hey, I was raped or whatever,'" said Reba Higdon, whose grandkids attend the school.
 
Ojeda is currently booked at the Polk County Jail.
 
When he was arrested, he had candy in his pocket.
 
Ojeda drove a school bus for three different schools: 
Bus number 0603 for Horizons Elementary, Boone Middle, and Ridge Community High. 
 
In a statement the Polk County School District said it sent out an automated message to parents on the bus, explaining the situation and urging them to talk to their kids.
 
He has been employed as bus driver with Polk County Schools since April 2007.
 
He has suspended him without pay and will be recommended to be fired.