DEER ISLE, Maine — A local school bus driver is behind bars after being arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a girl over a four-year period.
Larry Bunt, 52, of Deer Isle was arrested Dec. 5 on two charges of gross sexual assault, a Class A crime punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine. Superior Court Justice Anne Murray set Bunt’s bail at $25,000 cash or $50,000 surety. Bunt has not posted bail and remains in jail.
Bunt did not meet his victim through his job as a school bus driver. The Bangor Daily News does not identify child victims of sexual crimes.
According to a Maine State Police affidavit filed in Superior Court, the victim, now a teenager, told a detective on Dec. 4 that Bunt had sexually assaulted her “about every other week” while she was between 4 and 8 years old. The alleged assaults took place between 2000 and 2004.
The victim said Bunt touched her privates and had her touch his privates with her hands, according to the affidavit.
After speaking with police, the victim called Bunt “to tell him that she was having problems dealing with what he did to her,” the affidavit states.
According to police, Bunt acknowledged the assault to the victim and said he didn’t know why he did it.
“When [the victim] asked if she should seek counseling, [Bunt] told her that if she did so, he would end up in jail. He then told her to do what she needed to do,” the affidavit states.
After his arrest, Bunt was interviewed by state police Detective Jay Pelletier. The affidavit states that Bunt confessed to touching the girl on at least three occasions, but said he did not recall the details of the incidents. He also told Pelletier that if the assault occurred more than three times, he did not recall it.
Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said Bunt was employed as a school bus driver in the Deer Isle-Stonington area at the time of his arrest. The school district contracts transportation services to First Student Inc. of Orland.
First Student declined to comment on Bunt’s employment, or to say how long Bunt had been working for the company. Bunt’s next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 21.
To report a sexual assault, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 1-800-871-7741 TTY 1-888-458-5599. This is a confidential 24-hour toll-free line accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual assault support center.
Follow Mario Carmine Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.