Carlos Ojeda, right, gets fingerprinted August 17 after being sentenced to life in prison.

SENTENCING UPDATE: Bus driver who molested special needs children sentenced to life

Carlos Ojeda used candy to lure his victims to the front of his bus and sexually abuse them.

Carlos Ojeda, right, gets fingerprinted August 17 after being sentenced to life in prison.

Ojeda, 74, who had been a bus driver for special needs children since 2007, chose four little girls who had intellectual disabilities and behavioral issues, knowing they would be less likely to tell anyone else what he had done. Two of the girls he chose struggled with verbal communication.

But on April 8, 2016, another student on the bus saw Ojeda touch two of the girls, and he reported it to his counselor.

Ojeda was questioned by law enforcement and admitted to touching a total of four children on his bus, dating back to 2013. He was charged with four counts of lewd molestation.

At Ojeda’s sentencing hearing August 17, Assistant State Attorney Mikaela Perry played the video footage from Ojeda’s bus for Judge Roddenbery.

The video shows Ojeda getting a victim’s attention with candy, coaxing her to the front of the bus and restraining her as he touched her inappropriately.

One of the victims’ fathers addressed the judge, asking him to sentence Ojeda to the max.

“We trusted him with our little girl,” he said. “I would like him to pay for what he did.”

Another parent wrote the judge a letter.

“He took part of her innocence and our tranquility,” the letter read. “He damaged our girl.”

Perry reminded the court that this was every parent’s worst nightmare.

“He was in a position to take care of them. Instead of protecting them and keeping them safe, he did the most horrible thing he could do to a little girl,” she said. “He deserves not a day less than life in prison for what he did to these kids. He deserves it for every single little girl he took advantage of.”

Carlos Ojeda stands in front of Judge Roddenbery during his sentencing hearing August 17. Roddenbery sentenced Ojeda to life in prison on all four counts.

Roddenbery sentenced Ojeda to life on all four counts.

After the sentencing hearing, State Attorney Brian Haas said he was pleased with the life sentence.

“The children victimized by Ojeda will suffer from this for the rest of their lives,” Haas said. “It is most appropriate that Ojeda will also serve a life sentence and will never hurt another child.”

Before leaving the courtroom, Ojeda apologized to the families.