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Ex-school bus driver’s sex abuse convictions upheld

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Court of Appeals has upheld the sex abuse convictions of a former elementary school bus driver.

In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel rejected John Carrell’s appeals. He had argued improper jury instructions and insufficient evidence to support his convictions.

Carrell was accused of sexually abusing two special needs children on board the bus he drove for the Canyons School District. In the ruling, the judges revealed they had viewed security camera video of the incidents that were shown to the jury and led to his 2014 conviction.

“We reviewed the video footage associated with not only the incidents for which the jury convicted Defendant, but also the incidents for which the jury acquitted Defendant. As noted, Defendant does not ask us to, and we do not, engage in a count-by-count analysis of the arguments presented,” Judge Ryan Harris wrote.

“However, we note that, in general, there is a qualitative difference in behavior between the incidents for which Defendant was convicted and the incidents for which he was acquitted. By all appearances, the jury did a thorough job of analyzing each separately-charged incident and convicting Defendant only on the charges for which it found convincing evidence of guilt.”

Carrell is serving 15 years-to-life in prison after being convicted of 19 counts of aggravated sex abuse.

Read the ruling here: