Authorities in Fresno state that a Unified School District bus driver had been arrested on child pornography charges earlier this week. On Wednesday, he was rearrested on additional charges of child molestation.
On Wednesday, police arrested Jeffrey Sipes, 54, on 11 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with children under the age of 14. He had been released from jail earlier in the week after being arrested by Fresno police on Monday for possession of child pornography. The pornography had been downloaded on his personal computer, reports ABC 30.
Sipes arrest came after Fresno police received information from the federal Internet Crimes Against Children task force about emails pertaining to child pornography that had been received then downloaded in the Fresno area. Police immediately obtained a search warrant for Sipes home. When police arrived at his home Sipes admitted to downloading the child pornography. Fresno police removed electronics from Sipes’ home.
Sipes paid bail and was released from jail Monday night. Soon after Fresno police received a tip from a woman claiming that Sipes had molested her when she was a child. Sipes was arrested for the second time in one week on Wednesday, reports WIJA.
According to Sergeant Israel Reyes, detectives contacted the female, who is now an adult, and she informed them that she had been sexually molested by Sipes several years ago. Fresno authorities state that even though Sipes is a Unified driver they have no evidence that any current students on his route were his victims. However, the investigation is ongoing and authorities are still following up on leads.
An official for Fresno’s Unified School District said they notified parents about the situation as soon as they became aware of Sipes arrest. A spokesperson also said Sipes is currently on leave with pay. The spokesperson added that Sipes drove students of all ages. He was responsible for children from the elementary school to the high school, but they do not believe any of those children are victims.
Jessica Baird of the Fresno USD PIO, made a statement about the incident. She said Fresno United was “heartbroken” over the arrest and that it hoped the investigation is a thorough one. She also reassured parents that the organization does all it can to ensure its children’s safety, reports the Fresno Bee. Any parents with concerns or questions can call the Fresno Police Department at 559-487-6025 and ask for Detective David Wilkin.
By Tammy Marie Rose
Photo Courtesy Fresno Sheriff