Judge asked to allow child’s testimony in bus driver’s trial

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) – Prosecutors are asking a judge to allow a girl to testify about how a former Ocean Springs school bus driver gave her candy, rubbed her back and gave her a pet name. Prosecutors say the testimony is intended to show the type of suspected “sexual-abuse grooming” behavior he used on a different girl he is accused of molesting.

The Sun Herald reports Sergio Sandoval has not been arrested on any charges involving the child who prosecutors are requesting be a witness.

The 64-year-old Sandoval is set to go to trial Aug. 1 on four counts of touching a child for lustful purposes and one count of sexual battery.

His attorney said Sandoval “strongly professes his innocence.”