It's the sort of situation that gives bus drivers a bad rap, and it also could put an Anoka man in prison for three years if he is convicted.
Last month, a 13-year-old girl with hearing impairment told her older sister about the bus driver who drove her to and from Anwatin Middle School. She said he often stared at her through the rearview mirror inside the bus, but things got even more unsettling when he gave the girl an inappropriate note on Feb. 11.
Charging documents accuse 45-year-old Sammy Mays of regularly giving the girl gifts of $10 or $20 since late 2012. The victim told police she initially thought he was also giving money to others and eventually asked him to stop when she found out otherwise.
When the girl boarded the bus on Feb. 11, she said Mays handed her a hand-written note and told her read it later; however, she read it immediately while Mays watched intently.
Due to the vulgar content of the note, FOX 9 News will not share all of what was written; however, Mays explicitly told the teen that he was looking for a virgin to have sex with and hoped it would be her.
Part of the note reads as follows:
"When I find my friend with benefits, we'll have a lot of fun like go to the Mall of America and buy stuff, go on some rides, go to the moveis[sic], go fishing on my boat, go the Minnesota Zoo. Just what ever she likes to do, like once in a while buy her an outfit and a new pair of shoes. But until I find a friend with binifits I can give u money. I don't mind. I hope I find a friend with benefits that looks like u. You're one beautiful black Queen! throw this away."
The girl did not throw the note away, instead showing it to her older sister later in the day. Police came to the girl's school and interviewed her about the incident.
"He's asking for her to have sex with him because he likes to have sex with virgins because they don't have AIDS?" asked Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. "So, the first thing I thought about that is -- besides being sickened -- is: 'Wait a minute, what does she think when she reads this?'"
When police investigators contacted Mays' supervisor, they were informed he had been fired.
"The good news is nothing happened. The bad news is this creep was running around doing this unreasonable and outrageous stuff," said Freeman.
According to charging documents, Mays admitted he probably should not have given the note to the girl when he was terminated, saying it was all a misunderstanding.
Mays did not work for the district, but was employed by Minnesota Central School Bus, a charter company that began contracting with Minneapolis Public Schools two years ago. The company immediately put Mays on suspension and fired him three days later.
A spokesperson for Minnesota Central says they have about 75 drivers across the district. Mays was hired in August of 2012. The company says he passed all the mandatory state and national background checks, drug and alcohol tests and the physical. He has not a single complaint until this incident.
Mays is currently in the Hennepin County Jail charged with felony solicitation of a minor. If convicted, he could be sentenced to three years in prison and be ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.
Both parents and children alike told FOX 9 News they were disgusted by the incident.