Suit filed against Austin ISD after bus driver charged with sex assault

AISD logo, Austin ISD (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of a 6-year-old girl allegedly sexually assaulted by an Austin Independent School District bus driver has filed a lawsuit against the district, the bus driver and a former assistant principal at her school.

Court documents said Leon Young, 61, inappropriately touched a Walnut Creek Elementary School student at his driver’s seat on multiple occasions. He was charged earlier this month with aggravated sexual assault of a child.

An arrest warrant was later issued for Assistant Principal Juan Zea, who was charged with failure to report child abuse. Zea told police he recalled an instance in late January where he saw the girl standing between Young’s legs and the driver touching the girl’s shoulder or back, according to an arrest affidavit. Zea said he spoke with Young and told the driver not to touch the students.

The assistant principal resigned his position the day after Young was charged, and he turned himself into authorities on May 18.

“AISD had a pattern and practice of ignoring and nonreporting acts of molestation,” the lawsuit contends. “It was not until two brave children came forward … that AISD was forced to act.”

The lawsuit mentions prior allegations of sexual assault at the school, including a teacher who was charged in 2014 with aggravated sexual assault of a child and three counts of indecency with a child. Court documents said Alfredo Andrade-Gaytan sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl after asking her to stay in for recess during summer school.

The family is seeking an unspecified amount of money and other punitive damages.

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