School Bus Driver Found Guilty of Sexually Abusing Special Needs Passengers Sentenced to 40 Years

by Patrick Herron

According to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, “today the Honorable David Lease, in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD, sentenced defendant, Etienne Kabongo, to 90 years in prison suspend all but 40 years. He would face five years of supervised probation should he ever be released. The defendant pleaded guilty to crimes against four female victims, ages 12, 12, 18 and 20, who rode the bus he drove for Montgomery County Public Schools. While he pleaded guilty, Kabongo claimed he was not criminally responsible due to an alleged mental disorder. Last month, however, a jury found he is indeed responsible for the two counts of Second-Degree Rape and two counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.”

One of the victims came forward after an incident in July of 2018 and a Montgomery County Police investigation resulted in the discovery of school bus surveillance footage of multiple incidents involving three additional victims.
“Etienne Kabongo was entrusted with the safety of some of the most vulnerable members of our community and he violated that trust, using his position to sexually abuse the nonverbal students for which he was responsible. Thank you to Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Rubinstein for his work in holding this defendant accountable. We are grateful that justice has prevailed and hope it provides some comfort for the victims and their families,” said State’s Attorney John McCarthy in February.



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