Statute of limitations may free Fresno Unified school bus driver accused of child molestation

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Jeffrey Sipes faces eight counts of charges for child pornography and lewd acts with a child that may have happened from 1991 through 1997. (KFSN)

A Fresno Unified school bus driver is now charged with child pornography and child molestation.

Jeffrey Sipes faced a judge Monday for the first time. He faces eight counts of charges for child pornography and lewd acts with a child - the sex crime charges range from 1991 through 1997.

Sipes' attorney says only one victim is involved in the alleged incidents spanning over six years, and because the lewd acts charges are from about 20 years ago, he may be out of custody by Tuesday.

"The statute of limitations has long passed, the prosecutor has to allege certain things in order for these charges to stand up otherwise they will be thrown out," defense attorney Eric Schweitzer told the court. "They have failed to allege those things as of present."

Fresno police say after arresting Sipes on child pornography, a woman, who is now an adult, told police Pipes molested her as a child.

"There must be some other evidence to show this took place, did she tell a family member? Is there some type of clothing to back up the allegations here?" legal analyst Tony Capozzi explained.

Capozzi says, according to the statute of limitations, police and district attorneys have one year to file charges proving these incidents took place and experts say it could be difficult to do.

Capozzi says if the molestation charges are dismissed, his child pornography case could still be taken to federal court where he could face five to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The FUSD says Sipes is still on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.
Related Topics:
newsfresno unified school districtchild sex assaultfresnoFresno - Downtown
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