Sick Bus Driver Assaults Mentally Challenged Student

Chicago - A West Loop school bus driver has been charged with sexually assaulting a mentally challenged teenage girl in March on the South Side, police said.

The man was employed with the same Roseland neighborhood bus company as another driver who was charged in Sept., 2009 with kidnapping a Hyde Park kindergartner.
Antonio Ross, of the 900 block of West Madison Street, was charged Tuesday at 9 p.m. with criminal sexual assault of a victim who was between the ages of 13 and 17, according to police who said the incident occurred March 24, 2009 in the 8200 block of South Luella Avenue.

Ross, who was 26 at the time of the incident, is accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old mentally challenged female while he was employed with Jewel’s Bus Company as her bus driver, police said. A police report said allegedly fondled her breasts and placed his penis in her mouth, according to a police report.

In May, 2009, Ross was arrested and charged a few days later with felony intimidation and felony communication with a witness in connection with the same victim, police said.

Those two charges stem from Ross allegedly having contact with the victim on three occasions, the last time on May 4, 2009, when he allegedly stated, “Why did you call the police on me? I should kick your a--,’’ according to a police report. Ross also allegedly grabbed her arms to restrain her while she was fearful for her safety, according to the report.

The Chicago Police Special Investigation Unit is investigating the March 24, 2009 incident.

Another Jewel’s bus driver, Willie Bledsoe, of the 7600 block of South Honore Street, was charged with one count of kidnapping -- a Class 2 felony -- for allegedly not letting a 5-year-old boy exit the bus about 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, outside Murray Language Academy near 53rd and Kenwood, police said.

The child wasn’t dropped off at his home until 3 p.m. that day, according to a Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman. On Friday, Sept. 18, Judge Jackie Portman set bond for Bledsoe, who was 67 at the time, at $30,000.

A spokesperson for Jewel’s Bus Company, 1035 W. 111th St., was not immediately available.

In an unrelated incident, a third bus driver -- though he is not employed by Jewel’s -- is under investigation for a separate alleged aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old female special needs student who he drove to her South Side school and back in Dec., 2009 and earlier this month, according to police.

Police said the 56-year-old man works for a south suburban Posen bus company and he was arrested at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday in the 5400 block of South Dearborn Street but hasn’t been charged with anything as of early Wednesday.

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