CENTRALIA, Washington - A teenage victim groped by a former Rainier School District bus driver spoke out to KIRO 7 on Tuesday after the man was sentenced for the attack on a woman a four girls last fall.
Kenneth Sands was convicted in the incident, which took place in October at a high school volleyball game.
“This trusted public school bus driver scared and humiliated her so badly, it was another day before she could even tell us what happened to her,” said C.C., the 15-year-old victim’s mother, who spoke for her daughter in court.
She said Sands’ actions shattered her daughter’s trust in people and have led to repeated nightmares.
“Every time she sees Mr. Sands on the streets of Rainier, she has nightmares about him coming to attack and kill her and her family,” the girl’s mother said.
Sands blamed his behavior on his bi-polar disorder.
“I regret the events that happened on October 18,” he said in court Tuesday.
The judge acknowledged Sands’ condition, but said it isn’t an excuse and sentenced him to five months in prison.
R.C., the young victim, said she was too shaken to come to court, but spoke to KIRO 7 on the phone about what Sands’ sentence means to her.
“It makes me feel safer knowing that he’s locked up and I won’t have to worry about thinking about him, wondering, ‘Is he on the streets looking for my family and I?’” she said.
Sands was technically sentenced to five years in prison with all but five months suspended. That means if he gets in any trouble after he’s released, he could quickly end up back behind bars.