RIPTA bus driver charged with assaulting passenger - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

RIPTA bus driver charged with assaulting passenger

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Andrea Medeiros

A woman said she was sexually assaulted by a RIPTA bus driver, while they were parked in front of a grocery store. It turns out the driver had a checkered past RIPTA apparently didn't know about.

"He could have killed me on that bus. Who would have known," said the 41 year old victim from East Providence.

We're not going to identify this her, because she is scared for her life after she said a RIPTA bus driver trapped her, touched her inappropriately, and forced her to perform a sexual act.

"I just asked to get off the bus and he said no, and he started doing things and there was no way to get off the bus," said the assault victim, "And he pushed me down in the seat and just."

The bus was parked right in front of the Shaw's on Willet Avenue in East Providence, with people walking by.

The driver, 55 year old Ivan Calderon, was covering himself during his arraignment, Monday. He's charged with sexual assault and is suspended from RIPTA with pay.

Police said Calderon has a criminal past, including assault and drug related charges, in both New York and Rhode Island.

RIPTA Board Chair Scott Avedesian said RIPTA doesn't always do background checks, and is still in the process of getting cameras on buses.

"Remember we're talking about 20 to 30 years worth of issues that they are trying to boil down to concrete action steps that we can take at this point," said Avedisian.

State police were called in three months ago to try to fix RIPTA, after a security breach. Avedisian said so far they haven't had enough time make changes.

But this victim said it's no excuse. Her life has changed for good and she'll never be able to take the bus again.

"I just can't believe it. I just can't believe that they allow people like that to drive their buses around. They don't care about the people's safety."

There is no timeline for when cameras will be installed and background checks will begin.









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