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Austin school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting young girl, police say

The parents of the victim reportedly told police that their daughter had been showing "out of the ordinary" behavior and that she would cry and get upset every morning when it was time for her to get on the school bus.

AUSTIN — A local bus driver has been accused of sexually assaulting a young girl on a school bus.

According to an Austin Independent School District Police Department officer, on May 29, police responded to a report of a bus driver inappropriately touching a young student in South Austin.

Police identified the bus driver as Cesar Antonio Maldonado, 57. On Monday, officials said the 5-year-old child attended Uphaus Early Childhood Center.

The parents of the victim reportedly told police that their daughter was behaving "out of the ordinary" and that she would "cry and get upset" every morning when it was time for her to get on the school bus.

The victim's mother also reportedly told police that she noticed Maldonado behaving strangely and that she witnessed him let the girl sit on his lap. Police said the mother reported that the way Maldonado would look at her daughter was "not normal."

According to an arrest affidavit, the victim said Maldonado would inappropriately touch her while she was sitting on his lap.

On June 13, the victim reported that on one occasion, Maldonado waited for the bus monitor to leave before he began sexually assaulting her, police said.

A video that was taken on the bus reportedly showed Maldonado engaging with the student inappropriately by touching the victim in her lower region while they were on a bus.

During an interview on Aug. 8, Maldonado denied having any inappropriate contact with the victim. However, on Aug. 9, Maldonado confessed to an investigator that he did touch the victim inappropriately.

During a press conference on Monday, AISD stated that Maldonado had been employed by the district for approximately 10 years. AISD stated that he was placed on administrative leave on May 29 and he was temporarily out of the country during the investigation.

Maldonado has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a young child, and his bond is set at $50,000. He was arrested on Friday and immediately terminated, AISD stated. According to online records, Maldonado remains in jail as of Monday morning.

A parent meeting took place at Uphaus Early Childhood Center on Monday night. A parent told KVUE she's upset about the incident and isn't sure she'll be able to trust the bus drivers after this.

Another parent said the school district reminded them of some of the signs parents can look for to know if something has happened to their child. As of Monday, police said there have been no other related complaints.

Anyone with more information about the incident is asked to contact police at 512-414-1703.