CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A school bus driver in Tennessee who pleaded guilty to raping a student will serve no jail time.
Alexander Rodriquez, 34, appeared in Hamilton County Criminal Court on Thursday where he pleaded guilty to aggravated statutory rape and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. However, the sentence was suspended and Hamilton will undergo supervised sex offender probation for 10 years and wear a GPS ankle monitor, according to WTVC.
In March 2015, a 15-year-old student at Sale Creek High School was reported missing after she was last seen getting on a bus driven by Rodriguez.
The girl told school officials Rodriguez drove the bus to a garage where the school buses are kept overnight. The girl said she then rode in his car to a motel.
Rodriguez and the girl then went into a room at the motel where she was forced to perform oral sex on him, the girl told investigators.
According to an affidavit obtained by WTVC, the girl repeatedly told Rodriguez “no” during oral sex. While she was being raped, she told Rodriguez it hurt, and Rodriguez reportedly replied, “I’m trying to make it hurt,” the girl told investigators.
Later that night, Chattanooga police called Rodriguez asking if he knew where the girl was located. A short time later, Rodriguez took the girl to another location and told her to tell police she was with a friend.
During the investigation, police asked Rodriguez about the motel. He immediately asked for an attorney.
Rodriguez was initially arrested and jailed on a $350,000 bond, which was reduced to $15,000. He spent 100 days in jail.
After the hearing on Thursday, Rodriguez’ attorney told the Times Free Press the victim had “credibility issues,” saying the victim claimed the oral sex was forced — but the evidence “didn’t really bear that out.”
“So there may have been some overall credibility issues with her,” attorney Johnny Houston told the paper.
The teen’s legal guardians filed a $10 million lawsuit earlier this year, claiming the alleged rape caused emotional trauma, lost wages, and damage to their relationship with the minor.