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Former school bus driver charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse

A former IDEA bus driver has been charged with multiple counts of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, according to a news release from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. (Source: Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office)

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from IDEA Public Schools.

EDINBURG, Texas (KGBT) - A former IDEA bus driver has been charged with multiple counts of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, according to a news release from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.

An investigation began on April 20 when a complainant reported that several students attending an IDEA Public School in Hidalgo County made outcries of inappropriate touching by their former bus driver, identified as 59-year-old Jose Luis Garza.

During an interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Edinburg, the students - a five-year-old girl and two eight-year-old girls— said Garza inappropriately touched them on multiple occasions while riding the school bus.

The alleged sexual contact spanned from August 2017 through May 2018.

Throughout the course of an investigation, the Sheriff’s Office obtained sufficient probable cause to show that Garza had committed the sexual abuse, according to the news release.

Garza was arrested on Friday and has been charged with three counts of continuous sexual abuse of a young child, all first-degree felonies. He was transported to the Hidalgo County jail on a $320,000 bond.

Garza has since been fired from the district, according to the following statement from IDEA Public Schools:

"IDEA Public Schools is committed to ensuring the safety of our students on the road to and through college. Jose Luis Garza has been terminated from IDEA Public Schools. We cooperated fully with the investigation, and we have taken all appropriate actions in accordance with the law and network policy. As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment any further. All questions should be directed to Hidalgo County."

Investigators say additional charges may follow in the ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at (956)383-8114.

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