Apr. 3-School officials in Rio Arriba County are being sued over claims a school bus driver raped a young girl while the two were alone on the bus.
Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, an Albuquerque law firm, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in state District Court against the Chama Valley Independent School District and its school board.
In May 2019, Stephen Meek pulled the school bus off to the side of the road after dropping off all of the other students and "perpetrate[d] terrible injuries and damages" to the girl, according to the lawsuit.
A motorist became concerned something was wrong after noticing the bus was parked along the side of the road. The motorist stopped to make sure everything was OK, but Meek waved the motorist away.
He pulled the bus back onto the road, but then he pulled over again and "continued to perpetrate injuries and damages upon" the girl, the lawsuit states.
Meek, 68, eventually dropped the girl off at her bus stop, but she told her family that night what had happened on the bus.
Meek is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to charges of criminal sexual penetration, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, enticement of a child and kidnapping.
The school district had received complaints from parents that Meek had behaved inappropriately with other students on the bus, but school officials did not take the complaints seriously, the lawsuit alleges.
Anthony Casados, superintendent of the Chama Valley Independent School District, could not be reached Friday for comment.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages for physical injuries to the child as well for as her pain, suffering and emotional distress.