CT schools bus monitor gets suspended sentence in abuse case

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A former Connecticut school bus monitor caught on surveillance video physically abusing a non-verbal autistic teenager has been given a suspended sentence.

Joseph Jean-Felix, 59, of Fairfield, received a five-year suspended sentence and three years of probation on Wednesday, the Connecticut Post reported.

Jean-Felix pleaded guilty to risk of injury to a child, third-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint.

The 15-year-old boy’s parents went to Fairfield police in December 2018 when their son came home from school with bruising and red marks on his wrists and arms.

Police reviewed video from the bus and saw Jean-Felix use a metal tie used to attach the boy’s harness to the seat to instead bind the boy’s forearm to the seat; repeatedly hit the boy’s hand with another tie; repeatedly strike the boy’s bare foot with a metal tie; and bend back the boy’s fingers, according to police documents.

Jean-Felix cried and apologized at sentencing, saying the bus company failed to properly train him how to deal with severely handicapped students.

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