Elizabethtown Middle School Bus Driver Facing Child Sex Abuse Charges
Former Elizabethtown Middle School school bus driver Vito Anton Giannattasio is facing several charges related to the alleged sexual assault of a student on his bus route. Giannattasio has been charged with institutional sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, and two counts of indecent assault of a person with a mental disability.
Elizabethtown Police say that the school’s counselor told officers that the victim told classmates that she and the bus driver had a “tickle game”, where the two would tickle each other on the school bus. On November 5, police interviewed the victim. She told police that Giannattasio would rub her breasts, back, upper thighs, and armpits, along with kissing her forehead. The victim would also tickle Giannattasio back, which involved touching his legs and buttocks.
These alleged incidents occurred while the victim was being driven home in a school van. She told police that she would sit next to Giannattasio in the passenger seat.
Giannattasio was employed by a bus company called Durham School Services prior to his arrest.
Justice For Survivors of School Employee Sexual Abuse
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of sexual abuse fight for justice in civil lawsuits. Here is some input from Brian into the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by school employees:
Tragically, sexual predators are often found in positions that involve frequent contact with children – such as teaching, coaching, and volunteering for youth organizations. While most who work in the education system are honorable people helping the children of our communities learn and grow, a small handful are sexual predators who commit terrible crimes against students. These predators must be held accountable for the trauma they’ve caused. Additionally, schools that enable abuse through negligence must also be held accountable.
In some cases, sexual abuse by school employees may have been prevented if it weren’t for negligence on the part of the school (or a third-party employer, such as a school bus company). For example, one of these third parties could be considered negligent for failing to run a background check before hiring a new employee. In cases that involve negligence, the victims and their families may have the right to file a lawsuit.
If you or your child has been sexually abused by a school employee, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual abuse survivors attorney.