SALINAS (CBS SF) -- Police announced Friday morning that a bus driver for the Salinas Union High School District is in custody on five charges relating to the alleged rapes of special needs children over the last ten years.
Bill Harvey, 58, was arrested after an investigation launched from a call of a man harassing a female victim on Feb. 22, according to Salinas police. Findings of the investigation revealed that Harvey, a long-time bus driver for the district, had inappropriate relationships with at least two of the children who rode on his bus.
Police said that Harvey bought gifts and met with at least one victim several times outside of his job duties. The victims, both physically and developmentally disabled, told law enforcement that they were inappropriately touched several times and forced to commit sexual acts against their will.
According to Salinas police, the first sexual act occurred eight years ago when one victim was 13 years of age. The acts continued, with the most recent being last year.
Harvey was booked into the Monterey County Jail on charges of rape of a person unable to give consent, rape by force or fear, lewd acts upon a child, kidnapping and stalking, officers said.
The high school district was notified and is working with detectives on the investigation, which is still ongoing, police said.
The Salinas Union High School District released a statement to KION on the arrest that said:
"We are shocked to learn about the recent arrest of an employee related to multiple charges of sexual misconduct with a minor. This is a disturbing set of allegations and we are taking it seriously. We are cooperating with law enforcement as they continue their investigation. The safety and security of our students are a priority and we are working with the victim's families and school community. We placed this employee on administrative leave, and as a result, he will have no contact with any Salinas Union High School District student. We are still learning about the details related to these allegations. We must respect the rights to privacy and due process of everyone involved, and the district cannot comment on personnel matters or student information. As law enforcement moves forward we will take the appropriate disciplinary actions. We appreciate the community's understanding and support as we work through this unfortunate situation."
Anyone with information on the Harvey case should call the investigations bureau at (831) 758-7226 or Detective Gabriela Garibay at email@example.com.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling the department's tip line at (831) 775-4222 or the We-Tip Line at 1 (800) 78-CRIME.
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