W. Mich. family speaks out after daughter sexually assaulted on bus in Colon Township
COLON, Mich. —
A West Michigan family is speaking out after their 6-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted on a school bus in Colon earlier this year.
The bus driver is now facing criminal charges for allegedly failing to report the abuse.
According to police reports, a Colon Elementary School student repeatedly told her bus driver a 15-year-old boy was touching her inappropriately. But police say that driver failed to report the issue to the proper authorities. And the girl’s family says the boy who assaulted her still attends Colon High School.
The family in Colon says an easy way to transport their 6-year-old daughter to school turned into the scene of repeated sexual assaults back in April.
According to a police warrant, the girl said a high school boy and fellow bus rider touched her private parts, restraining her when she tried to get away.
The girl's parents contacted police.
"Made me angry. Made me want to take matters into my own hands. But when we stop and think about it and cool down, we know that’s not the best way to deal with it," the girl’s father said. He spoke to Newschannel 3 Tuesday night, on condition we protect his identity. He says the abuse went on for weeks, possibly months.
His daughter told the bus driver she was being molested -- a cry for help police say wasn't reported properly.
"We're parents, when this sort of thing happens it tears our mind up," he said.
That bus driver, Tim Minor, of Sherwood, faces a misdemeanor failure to report child abuse charge. But problems for the girl’s family go much deeper. They say their daughter suffers emotionally.
"Very defiant, very irrational behavior," her father said.
Her family says the school disciplined the boy accused of assaulting her, but he was never criminally charged, and still attends Colon High School. They took their case to the superintendent.
"Immediately right out of the gate, the school was defensive. They were instantly trying to downplay what happened," the girl’s father said.
The superintendent eventually sent an email to the family about changes to bus protocol, reading: "we made several changes, including separating students by sex in addition to separating by age."
For this family, it's not enough--and they have a warning for others.
“Pray that this doesn't happen to you. Because if you think justice is going to be swift, you better think again," her father said.