Orange County school bus driver accused of molesting child

Deputies say man took own child with him on sexual encounter with student

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - A school bus driver is accused of molesting a child who rides his bus, deputies say.

Deputies said 35-year-old Javier Mendez even took his own child with him on one of his sexual encounters with the student.

According to his arrest affidavit with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, Mendez turned himself in on Friday to the Winter Garden Police Department.

Mendez admitted to officers that he was having an inappropriate relationship with a student between the ages of 12-15 and told officers he wanted to register as a sex offender.

Deputies said Mendez began driving the student to school in August 2012. The two began communicating after the student saved Mendez's number on their phone. After texting and talking on Facebook the inappropriate relationship turned physical.

By August 2013, Mendez and the student started meeting at a church near Hempel Avenue. Between August and December, deputies said he and the student met up in his car five times where they would kiss and fondle each other. They also sent each other naked pictures through texts and Facebook.

Local 6 knocked on Mendez's apartment door, but the woman who answered said she had no comment.

Neighbors, however, had plenty to say after Local 6 told them about his arrest.

"Just the thought of a pervert like that in my neighborhood, in my complex is scary," said Judy Jackman.

Sherry Summers has grandkids and said she's uneasy about him coming back to live in the neighborhood.

"This bus driver is a trusted citizen. To be with our children and he's turning around and doing something totally nasty, that's wrong," said Summers.

The Orange County School District confirms Mendez has been employed with them since January 2008. They said he has not self reported to the district, which is required after an arrest, but he has 48 hours to do so.

The district also said Mendez is currently suspended with pay, but pending the investigation that could change and he could be suspended without pay.

Deputies will not reveal if the student is a boy or a girl to protect the victim. They also told Local 6 their sex crimes unit will follow up on any additional reports that could come forward.

As of Friday, Mendez was being held at the Orange County jail on no bond.

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