Tomahawk bus driver held on $100K bond
A Tomahawk school bus driver is being held on a $100,000 cash bond, facing charges related to inappropriate behavior toward a student on his bus.
James T. Schmit, 51, of Tomahawk, faces felony charges of child enticement-sexual contact, abduction of a child-detaining and stalking. Judge Jay Tlusty set the high cash bond at Schmit’s initial appearance in Lincoln County Circuit Court Friday.
According to court records, a 15-year-old female told investigators that she rode Schmit’s bus on the last day of school, June 7. Instead of dropping her off at her home, Schmit suggested they visit while he dropped off the rest of the students on the bus. During the ride, he also reportedly asked for the girl’s cell phone number. When the bus came around to her house again, he again drove by and told her he would show here where he lived. When they arrived at his house, he asked the girl if she wanted to see his dog. She declined to get off the bus and told him she had to get home. Schmit then drove her home. As she was getting off the bus, he hugged her, kissed her on the forehead and told her he loved her, court records state.
The victim told officers she was upset because Schmit seemed to know details about her life. The victim’s mother also told officers that she noticed Schmit took extra special interest in her daughter, even though he was not a relative or even a family friend.
The audio visual recording from inside the bus was found to be consistent with the victim’s account. The recording shows the girl was on the bus for 42 minutes after it passed her house the first time. After dropping off the girl at her house, the recording catches Schmit moaning and making sexual comments about the girl.
When interviewed by police, Schmit admitted to developing sexual desires toward other girls on his bus several times over the 26 years he had been a bus driver.