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Westmoreland Neighborhoods
Probation likely for school bus driver who spanked teenagers

Suspect admits his role in incident, OKs plea

Thursday, July 17, 2003

By Virginia Kopas Joe, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

A veteran Ligonier school bus driver agreed to plead guilty yesterday to spanking two teenagers who believed they had been caught on surveillance tape having sex on a school bus.

Robert Scott Lemmon, 49, driver for the Lodestar Bus Lines, which serves the Ligonier Valley School District, appeared before Ligonier District Justice Denise Thiel. His attorney, Chris Huffman, said Lemmon and the Westmoreland County district attorney's office reached a tentative plea agreement.

"Mr. Lemmon wants to put this behind him," Huffman said.

Lemmon had no prior record. In late June, Ligonier Township police charged him with simple assault, indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and invasion of privacy.

The felony charge of endangerment was dropped yesterday. The remaining charges are misdemeanors and Lemmon is expected to get four years' probation.

Police said Lemmon, after saying that he had seen a surveillance video recorded on a school bus, persuaded a 17-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl to go to Old Colony Hunt Club on Peoples Road in Ligonier Township on the afternoon of June 24 and told them to shed their pants so he could spank them.

The boy and girl did not ride Lemmon's bus, and the Lodestar firm would release no information on him. But police charged that Lemmon told the teens he had viewed a bus company tape from late April showing the two engaged in a sex act. The bus company videotapes students as they ride on buses.

According to the criminal complaint, Lemmon told the teens he saw the tape but destroyed it by spilling hot coffee on it. When the teens said that they "would be in trouble if their parents found out and would probably get spanked," Lemmon told the two that he was going to spank them, because he had covered it up.

Police said that on June 24 Lemmon took the girl to the hunting club and forced her to remove her pants and underwear before spanking her. The boy went to the camp three hours later and was also forced to remove his pants and underwear and was spanked. Court documents say that after the boy left, Lemmon made the girl disrobe again, but did not touch her.

Lemmon has been free on bond.

Virginia Kopas Joe can be reached at vkjoe@post-gazette.com or 724-837-1725.

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