Bus driver accused of having sex with student

PEARLAND, Texas - A school bus driver has been accused of having sexual contact with a student.

Diana Almanza, 47, has been charged with sexual assault of a child.

Pearland Independent School District officials said an employee reported seeing Almanza leaving the bus barn at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, which was before her scheduled departure.

School district officials said they investigated and found out that a 14-year-old male student, who lives at Almanza's home, was on the bus.

The school district said it then contacted Pearland police.

Pearland police said they discovered that Almanza had sexual contact with the student. Detectives said video on the school bus show Almanza and the student covering up the lens, but the apparently did not realize that audio was being recorded.

Investigators said Almanza and the student were having sexual contact since September. The first incident happened in her living room, police said.

School district officials said the student is in the ninth grade. Police said the student said he had sex with Almanza on the bus about three times a week.

Officials said Almanza had been with Pearland ISD since September 2003. Her employment has been terminated.

The student has been placed in the custody of Children's Protective Services.

Sources close to the case said that the student's family was living with Almanza because the student's mother was friends with her and was having financial trouble.

Almanza was arrested on Tuesday and was booked into jail with bond set at $60,000.

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