Notices of claim are being filed against the Newburgh Enlarged School District after allegations of sexual abuse on an elementary school bus. Our Meredith Zaritheny has more.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- "There were children on one of the school buses engaging in sexual activity under the force of threat from one of the other students," said Craig Phemister, victim's attorney.
Attorneys for the victims say they this abuse took place over the course of several months last spring during bus rides to and from school. The victims all male range in age from seven to 10 years old.
"Four to six of these students, all male, were at the back of the bus for the entire trip, several times a week, being forced to engage in and perform in sexual acts to the entertainment of one of the other students," said Phemister.
It all came to light after a parent of one of the victims complained to the school district that her son was being bullied on the bus. The video tape from the bus is so explicitly graphic it's now in the custody of State Police. Attorneys say it shows the abuse happened almost daily for three months.
"The school district, in turn, was able to verify the complaint, identify the addition students that were involved and victimized, including our young client," said James Monroe, victim's attorney.
State Police and the Family Law Department of the Orange County Attorney's office are also investigating.
"It's our position that the school bus failed to provide the type of supervision necessary to prevent this type of activity from happening," said Monroe.
This notice of claim is the first step towards a civil lawsuit, however, we can confirm there is an ongoing criminal investigation. The attorney for the school district would not comment, nor would the bus company or State Police.