The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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December 12, 2012

Charge to be dropped against former bus driver accused of slapping child

BLUE EARTH — A former Blue Earth Area Schools school bus driver charged with assaulting a student on a bus has reached an agreement with a state prosecutor in the case.

According to the agreement, the criminal complaint against Jane Brooks, 72, will be dropped if she has no assault-related or disorderly conduct-related violations for a year.

Failure to do so would result in a reinstatement of criminal proceedings.

A fifth-degree assault charge was brought against Brooks after a September incident involving a misbehaving 6-year-old boy on Brooks’ bus.

Brooks slapped the boy’s face after repeated attempts to stop him from hitting and spitting at other children, according to court documents.

Brooks resigned from the job in October.

Prosecutor Troy Timmerman told the Fairmont Sentinel it was a difficult decision to file the assault charge, and in a case such as this the agreement is the most equitable resolution for the accused and for the state.

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