A school district in San Luis Obispo County has agreed to pay a 9-year-old special needs student $10 million to settle a lawsuit after she was repeatedly harassed by a hired school bus driver despite being convicted for a “peeping tom” charge.
Bus driver David Lamb sexually assaulted the girl on his bus for six months in 2017 while he worked for Lucia Mar Unified School District, authorities said. A detective testified that the driver showed the child pornography, exposed himself and touched her. Lamb pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2019.
Although juries have issued higher verdicts, the settlement is the largest of its kind for an individual case, according to attorneys David Ring and Robert May, who represented the chi.Id.
According to court records, Lamb had a previous criminal conviction on a “peeping Tom” charge and did not disclose that conviction on his first job application to the school district that Arroyo Grande serves.
In the lawsuit, the attorneys for the girl’s alleged district officials learned of Lamb’s conviction and told him that he was automatically disqualified from ever working in the district. But three months later, with the help of the district’s transportation supervisor, Lamb was hired as a bus driver, according to the girl’s lawyer’s court records.
“The district has broken its own rules by hiring Lamb,” Ring said. “They were desperate for bus drivers; they didn’t care that they hired a man with a history of sex crimes.”
District officials did not respond to calls for comment.
According to court documents, Lamb would often drive off the road and park in a remote area and then sexually assault the girl.
According to the indictment, the district air traffic controller was in possession of a bus surveillance video documenting a recent incident of Lamb assaulting the girl. But the supervisor never watched the entire tape, claiming she “didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on it.”