February 22, 2013

Maine bus driver gets 160 years for sexually exploiting kids

The Associated Press

LACONIA, N.H. — A bus driver who admitted sexually assaulting and videotaping the special needs children he transported in New Hampshire and Maine has been sentenced to 160 years in prison.

John Wright, 46, received the maximum sentence. Wright, of Milton, pleaded guilty in September to five counts of sexually exploiting children and one count of possessing child pornography.

Investigators said Wright, who has been in custody since he was indicted in October 2011, drove special-needs children from Strafford and Rockingham counties in New Hampshire and from nearby Kittery, Maine.

Investigators say they found thousands of images of child pornography on Wright's computer. Further searching linked Wright to the production of his own videos, including the ones that show him sexually assaulting his young bus passengers.

Some of the children were completely non-verbal, and others had a variety of disabilities, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said.

"While a sentence this duration is beyond man's capacity to serve, justice for the young victims and a just punishment for this defendant are beyond our capacity to achieve," Kacavas said Friday.

Wright's conduct was discovered by investigators with the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, who initiated an undercover operation in February 2011 to identify people possessing and trading images of child pornography, prosecutors said.

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