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Pinellas bus driver, 61, accused of sexually abusing teen

 
Ernest Williams, 61, faces one count each of sexual battery, attempted sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [PCSO]
Ernest Williams, 61, faces one count each of sexual battery, attempted sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [PCSO]
Published Nov. 9, 2018

A 61-year-old Pinellas County school bus driver was arrested Friday after deputies said he sexually battered a teenager starting when she was 13.

Ernest Williams, of St. Petersburg, who drives a bus for the Pinellas County School District, first abused the girl in 2015, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The abuse happened again in 2016, deputies said.

Williams knew the teen's family and was in a position of custodial care for her, deputies said. He did not know her through his role as a bus driver.

The investigation started Oct. 26 when deputies said the teen told a family member about the abuse. The girl was not identified by deputies because of the nature of the allegations.

Detectives interviewed Williams at the Sheriff's Office on Friday and arrested him at about 4 p.m. Williams faces one count each of sexual battery, attempted sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct and two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation.

He was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he was being held without bail.

Deputies believe Williams also had inappropriate sexual contact with another victim in another jurisdiction, though that investigation is still ongoing.

There is no evidence to suggest Williams had any inappropriate contact with students who rode his bus, deputies said.