A 61-year-old former school bus driver charged with molesting two 5-year-old Sandy girls has bailed out of jail, but is on home confinement and must wear an ankle monitor.
John Martin Carrell, who drove a bus for the Canyons School District, is accused of touching the girls inappropriately while buckling and unbuckling their seat belts on his bus route to and from Sandy’s Altara Elementary School.
Following a preliminary hearing last month, 3rd District Judge Bruce Lubeck on Aug. 11 ordered Carrell bound over to stand trial on 23 counts of aggravated of sexual abuse of a child.
The same day, Lubeck agreed with defense attorney Ron Yengich that $5 million bail was excessive. He reduced the bail amount to $250,000, adding that if Carrell is released he must be on home confinement and have no contact with children.
Carrell posted bail on Aug. 19 and was released from the Salt Lake County jail.
He is to appear in court again Sept. 9 for arraignment.
The evidence against Carrell comes largely from bus surveillance video. Lubeck said he saw Carrell in the surveillance tapes being very affectionate with one 5-year-old girl: snuggling, hugging, stroking her hair.
Lubeck said Carrell seemed to block the view of a child in his lap with a backpack, but said it’s a "reasonable inference" that he concealed his actions.
Carrell resigned after he was put on administrative leave on April 24 in response to the initial abuse allegations.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.