Pickerington bus driver charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor
A bus driver for the Pickerington Local School District has been suspended without pay after being arrested for allegedly seeking a sexual encounter with a teenage boy.
Timothy L. Campbell, 54, of Sycamore Drive was arrested June 4 and charged with importuning and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.
Both charges are felonies.
According to Sgt. Dan Johnson, commander of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Campbell believed he was communicating via the Internet with a 15-year-old boy, but was actually communicating with a law enforcement official.
Campbell was arrested in an undisclosed location, but Johnson said it was not at a local school.
"His meeting us was not related to his employment whatsoever," Johnson said.
Johnson said Campbell was charged with importuning because he solicited sexual relations with a minor via the Internet.
Campbell was also was charged with attempted unlawful conduct with a minor because, "... he solicited sex with a person he thought was a minor ... and then took steps to engage in sex with a minor," Johnson said.
As of Tuesday morning, Campbell still was being held in Franklin County's Jackson Pike Correctional Facility.
Court records indicated Campbell was slated for a preliminary hearing Friday, June 14, in Franklin County Municipal Court.
However, because he's been charged with a felony, his case will be bound over to Franklin County Common Pleas Court if the grand jury hands up an indictment.
A dispatcher with the Pickerington Police Department confirmed Pickerington police assisted the Franklin County Sheriff's Office in recovering property from Campbell's Pickerington home, but she could not say if the local agency was investigating him.
A Pickerington police detective with knowledge of the case wasn't immediately available for comment.
According to an incident report from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Campbell was arrested after soliciting what he believed to be a 15-year-old boy to engage in sex.
Campbell was arrested at an undisclosed location where sheriff's officials reported they found him in possession of unopened condoms.
The report further stated Campbell admitted he arranged to meet a boy for sex, but he told deputies he was unsure if he had images of child pornography on his personal computer.
Campbell is an employee of Petermann Bus Services, the company Pickerington schools has a contract with for transportation services.
According to a Petermann spokesperson, Campbell is suspended without pay pending the company's internal investigation and the outcome of his court case.
"(Campbell) began driving for us in August 2005," said Blaine Krage, a Petermann spokesman.
"We do a lot of background checks and nothing has ever come up on his record," Krage said.
Following Campbell's arrest, his bail was set at $50,000.
If convicted, Krage said, Campbell would lose his license allowing him to transport school children.
Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker said Petermann handles all disciplinary matters involving its employees and the district wouldn't take action against Campbell.
However, Walker noted Campbell would never drive for the district again if the allegations against him are proven.
"We know that an individual like that could never drive again ... unless he is cleared in court," Walker said.
"Student safety is paramount, along with student achievement, in the Pickerington School District," Walker said.
"We have zero toleration for violations of the (Ohio Department of Education's) code of conduct," he said.
"We're happy to partner with Petermann to see that student safety is ensured throughout the entire process."