AUSTIN, Texas - Crystal Ayon has lost faith in the Austin Independent School District.
“I don't trust them anymore. Because of what happened with my daughter,” she said.
Police say bus driver Cesar Maldonado would wait for the bus monitor to get off the bus, before sexually assaulting Ayon's then five-year-old daughter. This happened repeatedly.
“My daughter talked to me about a bus driver touching her. I just feel sad, angry because this happened with my daughter. She has special needs,” said Ayon.
Maldonado was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime. Ayon filed a lawsuit against the district last year, however, it was dismissed. But now her lawyers say after further investigation, they found more evidence that should grant them a new trial.
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“Two years prior to that there was another case where a school bus driver sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl on the bus. There are many other cases we found out through our investigation. Very young girls were sexually assaulted at the Austin Independent School District,” said Randal Kallinen, attorney for the family.
Kallinen also claims the district never reviewed bus cameras when they needed to. He's calling for major policy changes, including stronger background checks, and keeping bus monitors on the bus at all times.
“The monitor should be the first person on that bus and the last person to leave. There shouldn't be one single student on an AISD bus without the monitor present,” said Kallinen.
Austin ISD released a statement to FOX 7 Austin:
The Ayon v. AISD lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice by federal judge Pittman on March 31, 2020 because plaintiff did not allege sufficient facts to demonstrate that AISD had a policy permissive of sexual abuse, and AISD was not deliberately indifferent in training it’s bus drivers and bus monitors. Judge Pittman entered a Final Judgment on April 3, 2020 in favor of AISD. On April 29, 2020, plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint, or in the alternative, a motion for new trial. The plaintiff’s motion is still pending. Due to the on-going litigation, and the privacy rights of those involved, AISD is not at liberty to discuss the facts of the case at this time.