Teen’s rape charge related to school bus incident

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A West Mansfield area teen was charged Thursday with rape and gross sexual imposition related to an alleged incident involving a female child under the age of 10 on a Benjamin Logan school bus.

Jordan Griffin, 15, of 23800 Davis Road, was arrested and lodged in the Logan County Juvenile Detention Center, deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office report.

Deputies received a report Oct. 24 from the mother of the victim, who said the incident had occurred on the school bus that day on the way home from school.

Logan County Sheriff’s Office detectives are continuing their investigation, and additional charges are possible.

Benjamin Logan Superintendent Dave Harmon said today the suspect was operating in an unofficial capacity as a bus route aide, which is why he was co-mingled among elementary students at the front of the bus in the first place. The suspect had worked his way into a position of trust on that bus route, and there was previously no reason to believe he could not be trusted to help out along the route, the superintendent said.

That role is in no way an official designation Harmon said, but it is common for high school students with no previous behavioral or disciplinary history to sit near the front of the bus and assist with younger students to make their stops; or help substitute bus drivers navigate the routes.

Ben Logan operates on a single bus route which puts elementary, middle school and high school students on one bus, but that each student is to have an assigned seat on every bus, the superintendent said. Ensuring that assigned seating chart is exactly followed is an immediate point of emphasis for the district.

Harmon said there are no signs of dereliction of duty from the bus driver, and that the driver faces no disciplinary action from the district.

The driver has asked for and been granted an unspecified amount of time off work.

Suspension and expulsion papers for the teen have been drawn up, and the school district is consulting with its legal counsel to determine when and how that discipline should be handed out. There is talk about formally expelling the suspect while he remains lodged at JDC.

Harmon emphasized the district continues to take this matter very seriously, and says school officials are working closely with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office, and Logan County Children’s Services.

A letter sent home with students Monday relates the school district was, “asked not to do a mass release of information by the sheriff’s office until they (had) a chance to contact all families involved.”

Additional charges are possible, Sheriff Randy Dodds said, as the sheriff’s office continues to investigate whether or not there are any other victims.