DEER ISLE, Maine — A former Deer Isle bus driver charged last month with gross sexual assault was arrested again last week on a charge of violating conditions of his bail after allegedly trying to friend a 14-year-old girl on Facebook.
Larry Bunt, 52, was arrested in December after a teenage girl known to Bunt outside his role as a bus driver told police that the man had sexually assaulted her “about every other week” when she was between the ages of 4 and 8 years old. The alleged assaults took place between 2000 and 2004.
Bunt was arrested on December 5 and posted a $50,000 surety bail shortly thereafter. The conditions of his bail included not having contact with anyone under the age of 16.
According to a report by Detective Jay Pelletier of the Maine State Police, Bunt sent a friend request to a 14-year-old female student at Bucksport High School on Jan. 10. Pelletier verified the request by accessing both Bunt’s and the student’s Facebook pages, the report states.
The girl’s mother told Pelletier on Jan. 15 that Bunt had been the girl’s bus driver for four years, and had dropped her off at her home each day after school. The girl knew that Bunt had been charged with a sex crime, and had told her mother “that creep pedophile friended me,” and denied the request.
An investigation showed that Bunt also was Facebook friends with at least 10 other students at the Deer Isle Elementary School. Pelletier wrote that he spoke with those students’ parents and advised them to delete Bunt from their children’s friends list.
Pelletier also met with Bunt on Jan. 18, and presented the evidence of his contact with underage children. He told Bunt he knew he was friends with several students and told him “it would be in his best interest to remove them.”
Pelletier arrested Bunt on a Class E charge of violating conditions of release on Jan. 22 after consulting with Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett, the report states.
Bunt posted $500 cash bail the next day, and was released from Hancock County Jail. New bail conditions include that Bunt not access the Internet, submit to random searches, and not have any contact with the girl he attempted to friend on Jan. 10.
Bunt is scheduled to appear in Ellsworth District Court on March 24 on the new charge. He still is awaiting trial on the original gross sexual assault charge.
Gross sexual assault, a Class A crime, is punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine. Violating conditions of release is a Class E crime, punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
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 Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.