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Former Canyons bus driver accused of molesting girls narrates surveillance video

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Posted at 7:57 PM, Jul 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-21 21:57:04-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Video surveillance inside the school bus of a former Canyons School District special needs bus driver accused of molesting special needs girls was examined in court Tuesday.

John Martin Carrell, 62, is accused of molesting two 5-year-old girls. He faces 33 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

Court documents indicate the alleged abuse occurred between Feb. 20 and April 22. Video surveillance from the bus saw instances of touching from primarily two camera angles.

On Tuesday, Carrell stood in front of the jury for more than five hours taking them through the surveillance footage and explaining his actions.

The defense attorney asked Carrell where his hands were and if he was touching the girl’s genital area.

“No I'm not touching her genital area,” Carrell adamantly replied to the court.

But in most of the video the bus seats or Carrell's body blocked the camera's view of his interaction with the girls, making it difficult to see where his hands were.

“No, I do not know exactly where it is, but I know exactly where it is not,” Carrell told the court referring to his hand.

The defense attorney asked, “where is that?”

“It’s not on her genitals, her buttocks, her breasts or any other sexual purpose,” Carrell added.

Prosecutors say the video surveillance shows otherwise.

The prosecution pointed out that Carrell spent significantly longer unbuckling one of the girls than the other children on the bus.

They also argue Carrell was observed bringing one of the girls to stand close to his body, often between his legs.

Prosecutors also say the video shows Carrell licking his fingers before and after touching the girl inappropriately in the crotch area.

At the end of his testimony he was asked one final time if he touched any of the girls on his school bus inappropriately for sexual gratification.

“No. I did not, ever,” Carrell said holding back tears.

If convicted of any of the charges, Carrell will face 15 years to life in prison.

Closing arguments are expected Wednesday.