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Former St. Helens school bus driver accused of sexually abusing pre-teen girl

William Dunlop, 68, reportedly met victim, now 22 years old, while driving her to school
by: Washington County Jail William Dunlop

A former St. Helens school bus driver was arrested last week on allegations he sexually abused a young girl he met while driving her to school.

William Dunlop, 68, lives in Aloha and the alleged crimes occurred in Washington County. The victim, now 22, recently contacted the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and accused Dunlop of abusing her from the late 1990s until 2002. Oregon State Police investigators say they know of only one victim, but are looking into the possibility of others.

OSP spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings said Dunlop met the then-preteen girl on the school bus as he was driving her and other students to class. He said the alleged crimes occurred away from the job.

Dunlop worked for the St. Helens School District from 1997 to 2000. The district at the time contracted the Laidlaw transportation company to manage its bus service. The district assists in criminal background checks for bus drivers, but does not hire or manage them. Neither does it maintain driver personnel records.

First Student purchased Laidlaw in 2007 and is the district's current bus service contractor.

First Student staff verified Dunlop had worked for Laidlaw, but said detailed employment records for Dunlop and others who worked for the former company were purged shortly after the purchase.

Dunlop faces first-degree charges of sex abuse and sodomy. He is being held in the Washington County Jail on bail set at $250,000.

Dunlop was also a clown performer and co-owner of a clown entertainment business that has operated out of the St. Helens, St. Johns and Beaverton areas since the 1970s. Police would not release the business's name because it is still in operation and the crimes did not occur while Dunlop was working as a clown.

OSP Det. Aaron Jackson is the lead investigator on this case. Anyone with related information can contact him at 503-731-3020, ext. 269.