School Bus Driver Accused of Child Molestation

Published: Aug. 30, 2007 at 2:21 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 20, 2009 at 8:12 PM MST
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By Teresa Jun, KOLD News 13

A school bus driver in the Altar Valley School District has been arrested.  Harry Wroten, 63, is charged with one count of child molestation.  Deputies say he molested the girl at the home of a family friend.

According to the Pima County Sheriff's Office, a family friend in Three Points contacted authorities Tuesday after noticing suspicious behavior between Wroten and a 9-year-old girl in the family.  After talking with that girl, detectives say they determined Wroten had sexual contact with the victim a number of times.

"The safety and welfare or our kids is our number one concern," said Douglas Roe, superintendent of the Altar Valley School District.  "So, of course it's concerning to us."

School district officials say Roe has been suspended indefinitely, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.  Roe says Wroten worked as a school bus driver for about one year.  To his knowledge, there were no red flags or problems on the job.  And just like all bus drivers hired for the district, Wroten passed initial criminal background checks and inspections.

Deputies say there's no indication any other children were harmed.  But they are encouraging any other potential victims to come forward with information.

The news comes as a shock to many parents in the district.  "It's very surprising," said Terry Moya, who has four young children who ride the bus to school.  "We've been out here for a long time, and this is unusual."