Alexander Rodriquez, 34, a school bus driver from Tennessee who pleaded guilty to raping a 15-year-old student won’t serve any jail time. In March 2015, the unnamed student at Sale Creek High School was reported missing after last being seen getting on a bus driven by Rodriquez.
The girl told school officials that Rodriquez drove the bus to a garage where the bus is stored, and then took her to a motel in his car. The student then said she was forced to perform oral sex on Rodriquez.
The girl says she repeatedly told Rodriguez “no” and that it hurt while she was being raped. According to the student’s account, Rodriguez reportedly replied, “I’m trying to make it hurt.”
Police later called Rodriquez to ask if he knew where the girl was. Rodriguez took the girl to another location and told her to tell police she was with a friend. The girl then walked an hour home. When quizzed about the motel room, Rodriquez immediately asked for an attorney.
On Thursday, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to aggravated statutory rape at Hamilton County Criminal Court and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. But that sentence was suspended when Rodriguez’ attorney, Johnny Houston, argued that the victim had “credibility issues.”
Houston told the Times Free Press that the victim claimed the oral sex was forced — but the evidence “didn’t really bear that out.” He also pointed out that Rodriquez had served 100 days while the trial was taking place.
Instead, Rodriguez goes straight to supervised sex offender probation for 10 years and will have to wear a GPS monitor. But if he doesn’t break the terms of his probation, there will be no prison time.
Rodriguez was dismissed from his job, but managed to get one with M&S Trucking Crew, a transport company based in Georgia, according to Times Free Press.
The girl’s father said he was disappointed with the lenient sentence and plans on suing Rodriguez for $10 million:
“We were immediately turned off by the fact that there was no jail time,” he told Times Free Press.
“There was nothing else we could do. I’m disappointed that somebody that commits a crime sexually, especially against a child, gets treated like a DUI,” he said. “Like you can just go to classes or you can just be supervised and that’s punishment enough.”
“For me and my family, this has been an absolutely heartbreaking experience for all of us. The loss of a child would be about the only thing I think you could compare this to.”