GRAND RAPIDS (AP/WWJ) – A former Michigan bus driver who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a passenger with special needs has been sentenced to life in prison.
The Grand Rapids Press reports 62-year-old Theron Cramartie was sentenced Thursday in Kent County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the January 2015 attack.READ MORE: ACLU Sues Michigan State Police, Claims Racial Profiling, Black Drivers Pulled Over More
Police say Cramartie drove the 35-year-old woman, who was the only passenger on the GO!Bus at the time, to a secluded area of Grand Rapids, and raped her.
He was let go from his bus driving job with the allegations came to light.
Judge Dennis Leiber called the crime despicable during the sentencing hearing.
“That conduct saddens, sickens and disgusts whoever learns of these facts,” he said. “You abused your access and responsibility to perform these savage and brutal acts on this woman.”READ MORE: Woman Finds 95-Year-Old Message In A Bottle In Michigan
In court, the mother of the victim — who hasn’t been named due to her status as a rape victim — read a letter from her daughter who said she’d thought Cramartie was her friend.
I go through hell everyday,” the victim wrote. “I’m miserable all the time because you did this. It took trust from me. I feel awful and I feel used.”
Cramartie had a previous conviction for drug position. The victim’s family believes the bus company should’ve done a more thorough background check and that the Go!Bus should have been equipped with cameras that might have offered some protection for special needs riders.
The victim’s family has filed a lawsuit against Cramartie, the city of Grand Rapids, GO!Bus, MV Transportation and the mental health organization Network 180.MORE NEWS: Here's A List Of Bills Gov. Whitmer Signed Into Law Thursday
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