Child rape case against former school bus driver ends in mistrial

Jimmy Wall (File photo)

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The trial of a former Olympia school bus driver charged with sexually assaulting a student ended in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

The Olympian reports the jury on Wednesday was unable to form a unanimous decision on the charges against 51-year-old Jimmy Wall after deliberating for 11 hours. Thurston County prosecutors have the option to refile charges, bringing Wall back to court.

Wall was charged last year with four counts of child rape and two counts of child molestation. Prosecutors accused Wall of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in 2007 and 2008. Wall has denied the allegations.

The former Madison Elementary School student accused Wall and another former school bus driver, Gary Shafer, who is serving a 14-year prison sentence for raping and molesting three young girls from his bus.

According to court documents, Wall befriended one of the boys on his bus and started taking him on personal one-to-one outings to parks to do what's called "geocaching" using GPS to find things.

The boy says that turned into molestation and then child rape. Although the alleged incidents happened years ago, Olympia police say the alleged victim didn't come forward until just recently.

Wall's attorney Wayne Fricke claims the alleged victim in this case tried to be included in the Shafer case and a million-dollar settlement to no avail. In court Fricke said, "When that didn't pan out and it didn't look like that was going to fly he then changed the alleged perpetrator to Mr. Wall."

Fricke says his client even passed a lie detector test on this case. Wall pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The district said it did background checks on both drivers and nothing showed up. Wall resigned his school bus job in March 2016.

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