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School bus aide accused of molesting girl

A judge this morning ordered a school bus attendant charged with sexually molesting a special needs student held without bond.

Thony Desir, 39, who was taken into custody Wednesday on a charge of sexual battery of a child, was also ordered by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Ted S. Booras to not have contact with the victim, the victim's family or anyone under the age of 18, including his three daughters.

Desir, who has worked for the Palm Beach County School District since August 2004, was supposed to keep the most vulnerable students safe during rides to and from school.

Instead, he preyed on one, sexually molesting an elementary school girl who barely was capable of describing what had happened to her, school police said.

According to an affidavit for his arrest, Desir exposed himself and put his hand down the girl's pants during a bus ride to an after-school program on Tuesday afternoon.

The girl, a special-needs student with "limited capabilities to verbally communicate," told her mother on Wednesday about the attack. Her mother called Palm Beach County School District Police.

In an interview with a detective, Desir admitted to exposing himself and touching the girl, the affidavit said.

An attorney for Desir couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Schools officials were unable Wednesday night to say what disciplinary action will be taken against Desir. The school district generally removes employees accused of crimes from contact with students but allows them to continue working.

The district hired Desir in August 2004. His arrest marked only the latest instance in which a bus attendant was arrested or disciplined in Palm Beach County.

In 2008, bus aide Shauntra Blackmon, then 21, resigned after admitting to police that she had a sexual relationship with a 16- or 17-year-old girl she met during trips to Turning Points Academy alternative school.

She wasn't charged with a crime because the consensual relationship wasn't illegal in Florida.

In 2007, Grenisha Williams watched a 14-year-old boy sexually assault a 3-year-old preschooler on a bus ride in the Glades but did nothing; she was fired in 2008 and convicted of child neglect in May 2009.

Staff writer Allison Ross contributed to this story.

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