Former bus driver sentenced for sexting blames victim

Former bus driver sentenced for sexting blames victim

A former school bus driver who sent explicit text messages to a girl has been sentenced to five months in jail.

He pleaded guilty to the charge but, as court heard at his sentencing Wednesday in Charlottetown, the man blames the victim for what happened.

Steven William MacLeod, 31, of Rose Valley, P.E.I., stood trembling, as judge Nancy Orr handed down the sentence.

Last May, MacLeod was suspended from his job as a bus driver, after he was charged with sexting.

Court heard he exchanged more than 200 text messages with a teenaged girl, and asked her for sex.

He also offered her alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana.

Blames girl for 'ruining his life'

According to a pre-sentence report that was discussed in court Wednesday, Steven MacLeod told justice officials he was "just trying to help the girl," and blames her for ruining his life.

The judge called those comments "incomprehensible."

However, she noted MacLeod does have strong family and community support and can be rehabilitated.

MacLeod's crime — invitation to sexual touching — calls for a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail.

But the judge said that wasn't enough, because of MacLeod's position of trust as a school bus driver.

"What you did gives a great deal of concern for parents," said Orr. "They trust teachers and school bus drivers with care of their children."

Court heard MacLeod has been fired from his job as a bus driver with the P.E.I. Public Schools Branch.

Hope for rehabilitation

In addition to five months' jail, MacLeod was ordered to stay away from the victim. He will be placed on probation for two years after release from custody. He was also ordered to comply with any counselling or treatment recommended by probation services.

MacLeod was also ordered to provide a DNA sample for the national DNA databank, and his name will be placed on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.

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