A Frederick County Public Schools bus driver and Thurmont town commissioner charged with sex abuse of a minor asked the student whom he allegedly assaulted to be the last one off the school bus when they arrived at school, according to charging documents.

Robert Lookingbill, 71, faces two felony sex abuse charges and two misdemeanor charges related to a March 1 incident in which he allegedly inappropriately touched a middle school student on the school bus he was driving.

Lookingbill was released April 22 without bail, according to court records. He has a court hearing scheduled for May 22.

Attorneys listed for Lookingbill, Margaret A. Teahan and Stacey Steinmetz of Ethridge, Quinn, Kemp, Roawn & Hartinger, declined to comment. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim or witnesses and ordered to have no unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 18 as part of his bail.

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A 12-year-old middle school student reported that her bus driver told her to stop when she was going to get off the bus because she thought the driver, Lookingbill, wanted to talk to her, according to charging documents.

The student said when the bus arrived at school, the student went to the bus driver and he told her to move closer to him, and then he allegedly touched her inappropriately and said bye, according to the charging documents.

Video footage from the bus shows the student walking up to Lookingbill, who says, “Bye, [redacted name], let me give you a little tap right there,” and Lookingbill reaching toward the girl with his right hand and, under her backpack and then tapping her buttocks, according to charging documents. The footage shows the girl turning to look at him, and Lookingbill smiling and bending closer to the student and saying bye; the student then says bye and walks off the bus, according to the charging documents.

During an interview with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Lookingbill said he told the student to be the last off the bus, and said he wanted to talk to her about “disrupting” the bus ride the day before. Lookingbill told an investigator that he said bye to the student and called her “baby,” according to the charging documents.

Lookingbill said he did not remember if he touched the girl, but said it was an accident; he then said his boss told him the complaint was he touched the student’s “butt” and said he might have touched her bookbag. Then, according to the charging documents, Lookingbill said if he did touch the student, it would “be in the way baseball plays do.”

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When a detective asked Lookingbill if he ever touched other students on the butt like a baseball player, Lookingbill did not answer but said that “he give students pat[s] on the back or a rub on the head,” according to the charging documents.

Lookingbill told the detective he had been driving the student for four years, according to charging documents. Frederick County Public Schools officials said Lookingbill has been a bus driver for the system since 2015 and said he is on administrative leave, but declined to comment further.

A detective described the video of the incident to Lookingbill, who said he did not remember doing that, but that if he did do it, he thought it would be on the backpack. When asked if it was on purpose or an accident, Lookingbill “avoided answering” and said that he’s “tapped kids on the head and I’ve tapped them on the back and I might have hit the backpack,” according to charging documents.

Thurmont Mayor John A. Kinnaird said he thinks Lookingbill should “step aside” until the issue is resolved.

Kinnaird said the Thurmont charter only allows for the removal of a commissioner if they’re convicted of a felony. The commissioners are going to meet Tuesday in a closed session to discuss the situation and “discuss our options,” Kinnaird said.

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“This is a very unfortunate situation,” Kinnaird said. “This has nothing to do with Thurmont — this is going to be a real disruption to our ability to function as a board of commissioners unless we get some resolution out of it.”

Lookingbill is still a Thurmont commissioner and would still have the right to speak at Tuesday’s public meeting, Kinnaird said. All of the commissioners and the mayor have time set aside on the town meeting agenda for comment.

The mayor said he did not know if Lookingbill would be at Tuesday’s meeting.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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