GREENE COUNTY, Tenn. - Parents in Greene County say they're shocked by the arrest of a former bus driver facing statutory rape charges.
After a months-long TBI investigation, 49-year-old Jerry Malone was arrested Wednesday after being indicted by a Grand Jury. Greene County school officials say they learned of the investigation into allegations against driver Jerry Malone last October.
Malone is facing statutory rape charges involving a teenage girl; he's also accused of providing alcoholic beverages for a child.
That investigation started with the District Attorney, who requested the TBI to look into Malone. The allegations have stunned some parents in Greene County. "You think you put your children off to school and they're safe and then something like this happens," said resident Diane Hurst.
Malone is accused of meeting two juveniles back on October 7, providing them alcohol, and going to a home with the juveniles where investigators say he had sex with one of them.
"You have to hear about things like this and it really really upsets you," added resident Renee Rice.
News 5 went to the County Courthouse where we found out Malone has no past criminal history. We did learn Malone was a custodian at Ottway Elementary and drove bus routes for both elementary and high school children.
School officials say right now they're not aware of any problems at work. Director of Schools Vicki Kirk says Malone was suspended without pay in October and as the investigation continued, he was terminated in January.
Malone is now out of jail on bond. We went to his home to get his side of the story but no one came to the door.
While Greene County residents are concerned, they say they're thankful the school system acted quickly. "I commend them for doing that, for not just waiting," added Hurst.
TBI is not releasing many details about the victim because of the nature of the charges. But we did find out the alleged victim is about 17 years old.
We asked about Malone's background, school officials say background checks are performed on every employee and Malone's showed no problems.