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Huntingdon County school bus driver will stand trial for allegedly touching, harassing female passengers

HARRISBURG — A former Huntingdon County school bus driver will stand trial on charges of indecent assault, harassment and other offenses stemming from accusations that he inappropriately touched and verbally harassed female students on his bus, according to state Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

David Kim Gardner, 65, of Croghan Pike, Shirleysburg, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Gardner was arrested last week and charged with indecent assault, harassment and other offenses related to inappropriately touching the buttocks, breasts, hips and thighs of female students. He also verbally harassed students, commented on their physical appearances, and in one instance, asked a 15-year-old female student to sit on his lap, Shapiro said in a press release.

The incidents occurred on the bus Gardner drove for the Mount Union Area Junior/Senior High School.

“This bus driver exploited his position as a high school bus driver to harass and assault underage minors who were entrusted to his care,” Shapiro said in a press release. “Students took action and were brave enough to come forward about this abuse, and now, he will be held responsible for his crimes. We will hold him — and anyone who abuses children in Pennsylvania — accountable.”

The investigation began when Pennsylvania State Police received a tip from the Huntingdon County Office of Children’s Services related to Gardner. State Police later learned that the stepmother of one of the victims contacted the school directly to complain about Gardner’s behavior.

The case will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Megan Madaffari.