Orland bus driver indicted on charges he raped special-needs passenger

    Van Stevens of Orland (Hancock County Jail)

    ORLAND (BDN) -- An Orland bus driver for a nonprofit community support agency has been indicted for allegedly raping a special-needs woman last winter on a bus at the end of a ride.

    Van Stevens, 49, was indicted Thursday by a Hancock County grand jury on two felony counts of gross sexual assault.

    Stevens is alleged to have raped the woman, a Stonington resident, in February in Stonington after he had dropped off all of his other passengers. The incident came to light weeks later after Stevens drove his pickup truck to her house, ostensibly to give her a ride to Bangor, but was told by the woman’s mother that she could not go, according to court documents.

    The mother found out about the alleged sexual assault after questioning her daughter about why Stevens would show up at their house, according to court documents.

    Stevens faces two felony gross sexual assault charges — one because the victim alleges the incident was not consensual and one because Stevens’ job as a bus driver for mentally disabled people prohibits him from having sexual contact with his passengers, consensual or otherwise, Matthew Foster, district attorney for Hancock County, has said.

    Because Stevens’ employer is funded by Maine Department of Health and Human Services, and because he reasonably is expected to have known the victim is mentally disabled, any sexual contact between him and the victim is considered a class C felony, according to Foster. Anyone convicted of a class C crime in Maine faces a possible punishment of up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.

    One of the gross sexual assault charges filed against Stevens is a class C crime and the other is a class A crime. Class A crimes in Maine are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000.

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