New Mexico State Police agents arrested a 66-year-old Chama Valley Independent Schools bus driver Thursday on suspicion of raping a 7-year-old girl on his bus the day before.
Stephen George Meek of Tierra Amarilla was booked into Rio Arriba County Detention Center on charges of criminal sexual penetration, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and enticement of a child, state police said Friday in a news release.
According to an initial investigation by state police, Meek, also known as “Mr. Steve,” was driving students home after school Wednesday. When the girl was the only student left in the bus after other students had been dropped off, Meek pulled over to the side of the road on U.S. 84 near a place known as TA Hill. It’s there, investigators believe, he raped the girl, according to the news release.
A passing motorist saw the bus and turned around to check if it was experiencing mechanical problems, when the bus drove off, according to state police. The motorist then saw the bus pull off the road again and went to check on the driver.
Meek waved the motorist away and drove off again, according to state police.
The motorist, who knew the girl and her family, called the family, police said. When she got home, the girl told her family the bus driver had raped her, police said.
State police were called and the girl was examined at a hospital, where the assault was confirmed, according to police.