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New Augusta man charged with lustful touching of a child
By RUSSELL TURNER
A Perry County school bus driver was arrested this week and charged with inappropriate touching of a young student who was a passenger on his bus.
James Richard Mitchell, 69, of New Augusta, was arrested Monday and charged with touching of a child for lustful purposes. As of late Wednesday afternoon, Mitchell remained in the Perry County Jail under a $100,000 bond.
Sheriff Mitch Nobles said the charge against Mitchell came after an investigation by his department and consultation with the district attorney’s office. The case will be turned over to a Perry County Grand Jury for consideration.
Perry County Supt. of Education Scott Dearman confirmed the alleged incident happened last week on a county school bus and that after a brief investigation by school officials Mitchell was dismissed by the school district. The age of the child involved was not clear at press time.
“We let a bus driver go due to inappropriate conduct and turned the matter over to the sheriff’s office for further investigation,” Dearman told The Dispatch by phone Wednesday afternoon.
These charges represent just one side of this situation and, as with all criminal allegations, the suspect involved is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.