A school bus driver who lives in Deer Isle has been arrested on charges that he sexually molested a young girl over a period of several years, the Maine State Police said Thursday.

The driver was taken into custody by state police on Dec. 5 at Deer Isle-Stonington High School in Deer Isle, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police.

McCausland identified the bus driver as Larry Bunt, 52, who works for a private bus transportation company that the school system contracts for services.

Bunt has been charged with two counts of gross sexual assault, a Class A crime. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

“I don’t have a lot of details, but since he was arrested at the school I’m assuming he was on duty at the time,” McCausland said.

Bunt was taken to the Hancock County jail in Ellsworth. A jail intake worker said that Bunt’s bail was set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 surety.

Bunt has since been transferred to the Washington County jail in Machias where he was being held Thursday night.

Maine State Police filed an affidavit in Hancock County Superior Court describing the circumstances behind the arrest. Those documents were unavailable Thursday.

But the Ellsworth-American’s online newspaper reported that Bunt allegedly molested a relative during the period from 2000 to 2004.

The newspaper quoted court documents filed Dec. 7 that say the alleged abuse was brought to the attention of state police Detective Jennifer Fiske earlier this month by the victim, now a teenager.

The abuse allegedly took place in Sedgwick and at two homes in Deer Isle about every other week, the newspaper reported.

School Union 76 Superintendent Mark Jenkins, who was contacted Thursday, said that Bunt is employed by First Student Inc., a privately owned bus service based in Orland. School Union 76 includes the towns of Deer Isle, Stonington, Brooklin and Sedgwick.

Jenkins said he is aware from news reports of the charges against Bunt but could not offer any particulars on the alleged victim or where the alleged abuse took place.

“The island is a small community. Word spreads fast,” Jenkins said.

Bunt is scheduled to appear in Hancock County Superior Court on Dec. 21.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com