Exclusive: former bus driver sentenced for trying to have sex with child passengers

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A former Oahu bus driver, who admits he tried to perform sexual acts with children who were alone on his bus, received his punishment Tuesday. Many bus riders say his sentence is too light.

Jordan Johnston catches the city bus every day. He says he can't believe a driver would try to take advantage of a child who's the only passenger on a bus.

"It's really bad," Johnston said. "How can you do something like that?"

Feliciano Vea admits he did just that.

Prosecutors say he approached three boys for sex, and touched a fourth passenger inappropriately, while each was alone on his bus.

"Mr. Vea was in a position of trust. He was a bus driver," Sean Sanada, deputy prosecutor, said. "His light was off, indicating that the bus was not in service."

Vea says he, himself, was abused as a child, and is now undergoing therapy. But he admits he still had no right to victimize others.

"I accept responsibility for what I have done," the convicted sex offender said through tears. "It is my sole intent in life to never again hurt someone."

Under a plea deal that spares the victims the rigors of testifying at a trial, Vea is sentenced to five years probation and 24 weekends in jail. He must register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life.

"I pray that the victims involved and their families will one day forgive me," he said.

Bus riders we talked to say the punishment isn't enough.

"There's young kids that ride the bus," Johnston said. "It's unacceptable and he should, he should get more time."

Oahu Transit Services, which operates the city bus, suspended the driver upon his arrest, and later fired him.