Judge to decide if evidence merits trial for bus driver accused of sexually abusing students

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jul 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-31 19:29:49-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Is there enough evidence for John Carrell to go to trial? That’s the decision expected from the judge Thursday in the second day of Carrell’s preliminary hearing.

Carrell is facing more than two dozen felony charges of sexual assault, allegedly against children with special needs who rode on the bus he previously drove for Canyons School District.

Carrell’s defense attorney, Ron Yengich, built his case for why the judge should dismiss all charges against his client. He said surveillance video from the bus is all there is to the prosecution’s case, and he said the video does not indicate sexual motive or intent in Carrell’s actions, and gives no evidence that the touching caused emotional or physical pain to the child under the circumstances.

“In all of these cases I respectfully submit to the court that there is not enough evidence to find probable cause that a crime was committed and that this gentleman committed it,” Yengich said.

Meanwhile, the prosecution meticulously highlighted count by count what they believe is evidence that shows Carrell’s calculating and patterned behavior towards the victims.

“Every single day of the 12 days that we saw, she was always the last one on the bus,” prosecutor Nathan Evershed said.

The judge is not taking his decision lightly. He opted to not make a decision about trial Thursday, allowing himself more time to review the videos submitted as evidence.

Attorneys didn’t say much to FOX 13 News after the preliminary hearing.

Yengich said while walking away from TV cameras: “I don’t talk about cases pending, so I’m sorry. I just don’t do that.”

Evershed said: “We filed a case based on evidence. That evidence was presented in court. If we weren’t confident in the case we wouldn’t have filed it.”

The judge is expected to make his ruling on whether or not to bind this case to trial on August 11, if not sooner.