Police arrested Las Vegas school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting school children on his bus route. Although the culprit was arrested end of May, it appears that he may have a long history of sexual abuse.
Michael Ray Banco was held in jail without bail and charged with 19 felonies including kidnapping, child sex, child abuse and lewdness with a child charges. The kidnapping charges alone carry the possibility of a life sentence.
The story came to light end of May 2015, when someone reported to the Las Vegas Sexual Assault Division that a CCSD bus driver had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a minor. After preliminary investigations, Banco was arrested.
The home phone that Banco had listed was apparently not working and he did not have a lawyer at the time of his arrest.
Early investigations revealed that at least two of Banco’s victims were children said Lt Dan McGrath of Las Vegas police department. Detectives were already speaking to a possible third victim. However, Detective McGrath believes that there are many more victims who have not yet come forward.
Pat Skorkowsky, Superintendent of Clark County Schools told the police that Banco drove a mini bus on a special route throughout the Las Vegas area and transported about 20 children every day. The alleged sex acts occurred while on the bus with other elementary grade and preschool children on board.
In Las Vegas all public school buses are equipped with security video camera but so far school officials and law enforcement have declined to state if any of the alleged crimes have been recorded. So far no videos from Banco’s bus have surfaced.
Banco started to work for the Clark County school district nearly 20 years ago and presently he is off work, pending the current investigation.
The Clark County School district is the fifth largest in the nation with over 18,000 teachers, more than 318,000 students and nearly 350 campuses. The school district runs its bus service through 1,440 districts and has 1,428 bus drivers.
The local police team will be widening its investigation and have said that they would be available late Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday on a special telephone hotline set up especially for parents who might have any related concerns.
If anyone believes that their child may have been a victim of Banco, they are urged to contact the sexual assault division of Las Vegas police at 702 828 3307. Those who wish to remain anonymous should call crime stoppers at 702 385 555 or visit their website at crimstoppersofnv.com