Police: Former school bus driver accused of sexually abusing child has second victim

Posted at 1:56 PM, Jul 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-15 00:28:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A former school bus driver charged for repeatedly sexually abusing a 5-year-old special needs student is facing new sexual abuse charges.

The Sandy Police Department said officers have identified another victim 61-year-old John Martin Carrell allegedly sexually abused on his bus route.

Officers said they discovered the other victim after watching surveillance video from the bus.

Carrell is now charged with 10 more felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and one count of attempted sexual abuse of a child.

The new alleged incidents happened from March 2014 to April 2014.

He was charged with 23 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony, back in May.

Each count carries a maximum punishment of 15-to-life in prison, if he is convicted.

Carrell was a bus driver for the Canyons School District.

"When we receive word of allegations such as this it hits our community hard, our teachers, our secretaries, our bus drivers," said Jeff Haney, spokesman for the Canyons School District. “We truly want justice to be served, we want the investigation to be thorough, we want it to be precise, and we want to make sure we are safe guarding any and all evidence that we possibly can."

Canyons School District officials say these charges could change their whole procedure when it comes to buses.

"The board of education in a recent meeting asked in a fiscal note how much it would cost to have aids on all of our special education buses so it is on the board of education’s front burner," Haney said.

Charging documents accuse him of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl repeatedly over a three-month period during his bus route to Altara Elementary in Sandy.

A probable cause affidavit claims the alleged victim told her father she would ride on Carrell’s seat on the bus.

Police stated she also said he would touch her.

Officers said the alleged abuse was captured on the bus surveillance cameras.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he is optimistic this is the last victim in this case.

Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Nathan Evershed told FOX 13 News prosecutors are not ruling out more charges.

“There are still investigations that are ongoing,” he said. “If those investigations bear fruit then we’ll take a look at potential more charges.”

Carrell is devastated by the charges but maintains his innocence, according to his lawyer.

“There’s a presumption of innocence that attaches to everybody, including Mr. Carrell,” Richard Mauro said, Carrell’s defense attorney. “I would hope everybody would keep that in mind until we hear evidence in a courtroom.”

Carrell is scheduled to appear in court next on July 15.

His attorney said they may seek a reduction of bail.

Carrell is currently being held on a $3 million cash only bond.