A school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting a young girl faced a judge on Friday.
The arrest warrant for Joseph Addona remains sealed for two weeks, but police said the victim didn’t ride his bus, but rather she was a family friend.
Wolcott police said 60-year-old Addona started sexually assaulting a family friend when she was just 4 years old. The abuse allegedly lasted until she was 12.
Police started investigating earlier this month when the victim, who is now 19, contacted them after first telling a therapist. The alleged abuse goes back to 2002 and lasted eight years.
In court on Friday, it was learned that Addona, who has no prior criminal record, worked on and off as a bus driver for 19 years.
Addona, who was born in Italy, was most recently employed by New Britain Transportation, which provides school buses for Meriden, Berlin, and Southington.
He was reportedly fired a few weeks ago when the bus company learned of the police investigation.
Addona denies the accusations, allegedly telling police he's visited the girl's home before but did not have sex with her.
He’s being charged with first-degree sexual assault of a minor.
"Nowadays you hear that kind of stuff all the time, we're all kind of numb to it but there should be some type of awareness brought to people's eyes. Especially in this community, it’s a really nice community, so for that stuff to go on, it’s a little bit shocking,” said John Schwarzkopf, of Prospect.
The attorney for Addona said that while the allegations are serious, he argued they are simply that they are allegations. Ones that his client denies and which he pointed out go back seven years.
The prosecution was quick to counter that Addona allegedly continued to reach out to this victim. While investigators say the sexual abuse stopped seven years ago, Addona allegedly continued to reach out to his alleged victim, even this year.
New Britain Transportation did not return requests for comment.
Addona was given a protective order to stay away from the victim. He's free Friday night on a $250,000.
As part of his bail, Addona was ordered to to undergo electronic monitoring. Other than to go to court, the doctors, or to see his attorney, he's under house arrest.
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