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Bus Driver Held in Sex Case Faced '02 Probe

May 09, 2003|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

A bus driver arrested this week on suspicion of sexually attacking two disabled passengers had been investigated and cleared by his employers last year in two similar cases.

Laidlaw Transit Services concluded during internal investigations that the allegations lodged against Daniel Carlos Porras, 39, did not warrant the attention of police.

Porras, whose job with Laidlaw called for him to transport disabled passengers, is now in Orange County Jail, charged with raping a 42-year-old mentally disabled woman and fondling a woman with cerebral palsy. The alleged attacks took place in December and January. Porras was fired in late January.

The earlier internal investigation by Laidlaw focused on complaints from two women who said Porras touched them "inappropriately." Laidlaw officials investigated, but the complaints were "dismissed" and not reported to police, according to Superior Court records.

Porras, though, was apparently fired a week after the 42-year-old Anaheim resident told police she had been attacked on the bus between Jan. 6 and Jan. 14. Officials at Laidlaw declined to comment on the internal investigations or about Porras' employment.

The names of Porras' victims were blacked out in court records, leaving it unclear if either of the earlier complaints for which Porras was investigated involved the same women.

An affidavit filed by Orange County sheriff's investigators said Porras, 39, admitted having sex with the 42-year-old victim. But he told investigators that the woman, who has an IQ of 58, consented. Porras, who lives in Anaheim and is married, told investigators that his relationship with the woman was "a real small affair" that lasted about two weeks.

Like the 42-year-old woman, the Buena Park woman said she was the last passenger dropped off by Porras on the days she was attacked. Both women allege they were driven to secluded parking lots in Anaheim and Cypress and assaulted.

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