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N4T Investigators: Bus to prison - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Bus to prison

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Bisbee - School bus driver David Falcon said he was just acting like a "grandfather."  Investigators said he was sexually abusing a young girl on his bus. Now, Falcon is headed to prison. 

As we first reported in July, the 70 year-old Falcon was arrested when he was a bus driver with the Sierra Vista Unified School District, charged with sexually abusing a 12-year old girl. The Cochise County Sheriff's Office report says there were two girls on the bus when Falcon inappropriately touched the 12 year-old on several occasions last spring. 

he admitted that he had, in fact, hugged these girls, and kissed them. And he felt like he was much like their grandfather. Had given them gifts. 

Sheriff's Office spokesperson Carol Capas told the News 4 Tucson Investigators that Falcon, "admitted" he hugged and kissed the girl. And he felt like he was much like her grandfather. He gave her gifts," Capas said, including $175 at the end of the last school year. Capas says Falcon thought he did nothing inappropriate.

Now, the News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned that Falcon's actions could cost the school district a lot of money.

A "Notice Of Claim" has been filed against the district by Tucson attorney Dev Sethi, seeking $2.5 million for the victim. The notice is required before a possible lawsuit. Sethi and the district declined comment. The district fired Falcon upon learning the investigation's results.

The sheriff's report paints disturbing pictures of Falcon's behavior. The girl told her mother that on May 25, the last day of school, "Falcon would not stop kissing her." and that he "tried to French kiss" her.

Capas said that Falcon "did not acknowledge the French kiss part of it. He acknowledged kissing and hugging." 

The victim told her mother that at one point during the trip home from school, Falcon was, "holding her left breast." Capas said, "He did not acknowledge that he had done anything as far as squeezing their breast."

Investigators say the key to Falcon's arrest was that his abusive actions were caught on camera...the school bus camera. Capas said, "If the bus driver says one thing and the girl says another, then you can always go to the video. It's crucial."

The Sierra Vista Unified School District has five more months to answer the Notice of Claim, or a civil lawsuit could be filed on behalf of the victim. Meanwhile the criminal case was finalized last Wednesday in Cochise County Superior Court in Bisbee.

Judge Wallace Hoggatt announced that a plea agreement had been reached: Falcon, who had been indicted on five counts of sexual abuse, pleaded "No Contest" two counts and will serve two and a half years in prison. He will also be on lifetime probation when he is released. Falcon, who had no prior criminal record, took the deal instead of taking his chances with a trial, in which the jury would have seen the bus video. 

Falcon's abuse of the girl was allegedly getting more aggressive towards the end of the school year, and Capas said, "I cannot speculate on how far it could have gone, but it was definitely in the grooming stage."

The Sierra Vista school district spokesperson said the required background check was done on Falcon before he was hired, and that it turned up clean. In fact, she said, Falcon was previously a bus driver in another school district, without incident.

 If you have a story you'd like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

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