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Updated: 7:26 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 | Posted: 8:54 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013

Tecumseh bus driver accused of raping student

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Adam James Overholser photo

Adam James Overholser

By Breaking News Staff

CLARK COUNTY —

A Tecumseh Local Schools bus driver is accused of raping an 11-year-old boy he reportedly met on his bus route.

Adam James Overholser, 21 of New Carlisle, was arrested Wednesday evening on school grounds by Clark County sheriff's deputies. He is charged with first-degree felony rape and a third-degree felony count of gross sexual imposition. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment Thursday in Clark County Municipal Court.

Authorities said the boy's mother contacted them Monday to report her son was being sexually abused. After a forensic interview, the child said he had multiple sexual encounters with Overholser between May and September.

Overholser allegedly developed a friendship with the boy while driving a school bus for Tecumseh schools, although district officials said he only became a bus driver with the district in August.

The sheriff's office said the sexual acts reportedly occurred in locations across Clark, Champaign and Miami counties. School officials said they do not believe the incidents happened on school grounds or during school hours.

During a recorded phone conversation Wednesday, Overholser admitted to some sexual acts, according to court records.

Overholser, whose records and work history showed no prior concerns, was immediately removed from his duties with the district, said Superintendent Bradley Martin. No staff members or any other person had expressed concerns regarding Overholser prior to Wednesday, he said.

"The safety of students is our top priority at Tecumseh Schools," Martin said.

A letter was hand-delivered to Overholser in the Clark County Jail on Thursday informing him that he will not be permitted to return to work or allowed on district property until further notice. Paula Crew, assistant superintendent, said a disciplinary hearing will be scheduled with Overholser once he is out of jail to determine his future with the district.

A review of Overholser's personnel file by the Springfield News-Sun revealed no prior disciplinary action by the district. He also does not have a criminal history in Clark County, according to court records.

Shirley Kimmel, a Donnelsville resident whose parents are retired Tecumseh school district employees, said she was surprised to hear a school bus driver had been arrested.

"It's terrible. I mean, if you can't trust your bus driver, you can't trust your teacher or what have you, then who can you trust?" she said. "What kills me is you wouldn't think something like this would happen in a small community like this."

A group of about 10 family members and friends of Overholser's attended his arraignment Thursday and cried when he went before the judge. They said they were shocked by his arrest but declined to comment further.

Overholser remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

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