A New Jersey school bus driver was charged Thursday with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl on a school bus while her younger brother was a few seats away, according to Atlantic County Police.
Police say Hugo Sandoval, 58, allegedly pulled over his bus on the side of Eighth Street in Hammonton as he was finishing his bus route from Folsom Elementary School Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators say two children were on the bus at the time, the alleged victim and her 5-year-old brother. Sandoval asked the boy to go to the rear of the bus and then allegedly sexually assault the girl, who was seated in the front, according to police.
The alleged victim reported the assault to her mother who then contacted the Hammonton Police Department.
Sandoval was arrested Thursday at his apartment located on Twelfth Street in Hammonton.
Sandoval was charged with first degree aggravated sexual assault, second degree sexual assault and third degree endangering the welfare of a child. He is currently being held in the Atlantic County Justice Facility on $150,000 cash bail.
"I was shocked, really shocked. I feel like crying right now because you don't do that to a little girl."
Regina Posadas, a neighbor who showed NBC10 a video of Sandoval wishing her a happy birthday, says she was shocked to hear the news.
Alison Karam, a spokesperson for the bus company, issued the following statement.
Hugo was employed by Student Transportation of America, a company contracted by the Folsom Elementary School District.
“Our main concern is for the well-being of the students affected by the incident that occurred in Folsom on Tuesday afternoon. Upon learning of the incident, the driver was immediately suspended and his employment with the company has since been terminated. We are cooperating fully with the police department on this investigation.”
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