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Mediation Yields Settlement in Bus Driver Rape Case

Thursday, January, 4, 2018

A three hour mediation session resulted in an out-of-court resolution to the civil lawsuit against a former school bus driver who pleaded guilty to statutory rape in 2016.  The amount of money Durham School Services will pay was not made public, but the case is officially closed.


Durham School Services is a third-party company that provides transportation to the majority of students in the district.  It employed the bus driver until he was charged with the rape of a 15 year old girl on March 4, 2015.  According to the complaint, the 36 year old driver took the girl to a motel, where he raped her.  He pled guilty to aggravated statutory rape, which is a class D felony, and was given four years’ probation.


As a result of the criminal charges, the girl’s family accused the company of improperly hiring Rodriguez and filed a lawsuit for $10 million in March 2016.  The lawsuit claimed that Rodriguez should not have been hired based on the standards of conduct set forth by Durham because he would pleaded guilty to two felonies in 2004.  Those charges included drug dealing in a school zone and unlawful possession of a handgun.  The final settlement amount that resulted from the mediation is and will remain confidential.


Lawyers for Durham School Services argued that because the charges were a decade old, the case should be dismissed.  They also claimed that the driver was outside of the company’s scope of employment when the rape occurred because he took the student to a hotel.