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Local News in Brief : Ex-Driver Sentenced in Attacks on Bus Riders

April 16, 1985

Aformer RTD bus driver was sentenced to one year in County Jail and three years probation Monday for sexually attacking two retarded women who were passengers on his bus.

Thomas McLemore Jr., 25, pleaded guilty in March to two counts of felony sexual battery and one count of felony false imprisonment for two separate incidents in Northridge last October. Charges of assault with intent to commit oral copulation and attempted oral copulation were dropped at the sentencing Monday.

In a probation report, however, McLemore continued to maintain his innocence, telling probation officers that he "didn't touch no one or try to rape anyone," and only accepted the plea bargain because he did not want to fight the case.

According to court documents, McLemore attacked the women, 36 and 33, while they were the sole passengers on his Reseda Boulevard route. Both women escaped from the bus after McLemore fondled them and unsuccessfully tried to force them to copulate him orally, the records state.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth Loveman said he agreed to the plea bargain because neither victim could accurately identify her attacker in lineups. McLemore was arrested after RTD officials checked records on who would have been driving the bus on the days of the attacks.

Both victims did identify McLemore, however, when shown a photograph of him in his bus driver's uniform, Loveman said.

In pronouncing sentence, San Fernando Superior Court Commissioner Donald W. Pike urged McLemore's probation officer to make therapy a condition of probation when McLemore completes his one-year sentence.

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