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Duluth bus driver acquitted of molestation charges

News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
Duluth bus driver acquitted of molestation charges
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

DULUTH, Minn. -- A St. Louis County jury has cleared a school-bus driver who was accused of molesting five female students.

Sixty-three-year-old Jimmy Jerome James of Two Harbors was found not guilty Wednesday of three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The jury deadlocked on two additional counts.

James says he's relieved, and he knew the truth would come out.

A Duluth News Tribune report cites testimony saying James allowed kids to open the bus door at stops. He was accused of using that opportunity to touch girls in a sexual manner. James denied the contact was sexual.

The judge declared a mistrial on the two other counts. The prosecutor will review the counts and decide whether they should be retried.

The newspaper says prosecutor Nathaniel Stumme was unavailable for immediate comment.

Pioneer staff reports