UPDATE: Former Hamilton County bus driver won't serve jail time - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Former Hamilton County bus driver won't serve jail time after pleading guilty to raping student

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The 35-year-old former Hamilton County bus driver charged with raping a 15-year-old student in a motel will serve no further jail time.

Read more from our news partner at the Chattanooga Times Free Press


PREVIOUS STORY: A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted the Hamilton County school bus driver accused of raping a 15-year-old student. 

Alex Rodriquez, 34, was arrested in March and charged with forcible rape. A grand jury indicted him Wednesday on a charge of aggravated statutory rape.

Police say instead of taking the girl home after school, Rodriquez drove to the Super 8 Motel on Lee Highway and forced her to perform a sex act on him. He is also accused of raping her.

The teen's parents reported the girl missing when she didn't arrive home after school. Rodriquez reportedly dropped her off to walk over an hour home.

Rodriquez is scheduled to be arraigned in Hamilton County Criminal Court on June 5.


PREVIOUS STORY: The case against a Hamilton County school bus driver, accused of raping a 15-year-old student, was postponed until the end of the month.

34-year-old Alexander Rodriquez is being held on a 350-thousand dollar bond for one count of rape.

The case is expected to go back to court March 31st.

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PREVIOUS STORY:  Your child goes off to school, and you trust someone else to take care of them.

"All parents' worse nightmare is that something happens to one of their children," said Jim Hammond, Hamilton County Sheriff.

Investigators say 34-year-old Alexander Rodriquez, a school bus driver contracted through Durham school services took a 15-year-old girl to a hotel and raped her.

"Unfortunately we had an incident occur within the last 24-hours that probably ramps up that fear of any parent,when they entrust their teenagers outside of the home,” said Hammond.

It was in room 207 at the Super 8 Motel, where according to an affidavit, 34-year-old Alexander Rodriquez brought a 15-year-old girl here and had sex with her. Channel 3 spoke with the manager at Super 8 who didn't want his face shown who tells us he's shocked this happened right here on his property.

"Never, never, this is the first case that ever happened at our hotel, it's pretty safe here.” said hotel manager.

The manager confirms to Channel 3 there is surveillance video of Rodriguez and the teen together, and that video has been turned over as part of the investigation.

Channel 3 also wanted to know about background checks. Transportation director Ben Coulter says they do full checks, and are now making sure they didn't miss something.

'We go through all the normal checks, especially the sex offender registry to try to prevent any of this stuff from happening,” said Coulter. Rodriguez is not listed as a sex offender.

Court records Channel 3 checked show he was cited for speeding with kids on the bus last year.

Coulter would not say if any discipline action was taken then.

Sheriff Hammond reminds parents they can't prevent everything, but they can remember one thing.

"Obviously parents want to be vigilant, so they can understand where they are, and who has custody of them, whether it's a bus driver to get to school or a teacher,” said Hammond.

Rodriquez has been placed on unpaid leave. He remains in the Hamilton County Jail. 


PREVIOUS STORY: A teen reported missing was reportedly raped by a school bus driver Wednesday, according to a Hamilton County Sheriff's Office affidavit.

Alexander Rodriquez, 34, faces one count of forcible rape.  He remains in jail on a $350,000 bond.

Rodriquez, a driver contracted through Durham School Services, has been placed on unpaid leave, said Ben Coulter, transportation director for Hamilton County Schools.

The 15-year-old was last seen boarding Rodriquez's bus at a local high school.  The girl, who was reported missing, did not return home until 10 p.m. Wednesday night.  

She told deputies that Rodriquez took her to where the school buses are kept. She rode in a car with him to a Super 8 motel near a Waffle House. Once inside the room, she told deputies that Rodriquez forced her to perform a sexual act on him before forcing himself on her, according to the affidavit.

She told him repeatedly no and that she was in pain.

Rodriquez received a call on his cell phone asking if he knew where she might be. He dropped the girl off in the Birchwood area. It took her an hour to walk home.

He told her to say she had been hanging out with a friend.

When interviewed by a detective, Rodriquez first said he did not know the girl. He denied that she was on the bus. He later admitted that she was on the bus and that he had given her a ride in his car. He said he wanted an attorney.

Deputies learned that he checked into a Super 8 motel on Lee Highway in Ooltewah that day.

Local court records show that he was cited for speeding in a school bus with children last year. He had no other charges listed. Coulter said drivers undergo background checks before they are hired.

Rodriquez is expected to appear in court March 23 before Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge David Bales. 

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