Carl Junction community reacts to arrest of former school bus driver charged with sex crimes
CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — A former Carl Junction school bus driver is arrested for sex crimes against a student.
67-year-old Dennis Frakes is charged with one count of sodomy and one count of sexual contact with a former female student.
Police say she was assaulted over a number of years, beginning in her early teens.
For the community, the arrest comes as a shock.
“I mean I couldn’t believe it whenever I heard about it and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Carl Junction.’ It was shocking as a parent to find out,” said Glenda Starkey, a Carl Junction mother of two.
She is still trying to process the thought of a former CJ bus driver sexually assaulting a former student.
“It is scary. It’s scary to think that something like that could happen,” said Starkey.
According to court records, Dennis Frakes was a school bus driver for the CJ School District at the time of the abuse. He was hired for the district in 2012.
“He came in, was an okay employee, and did his job…and, I think, was a friendly person to everyone, got along,” said Phillip Cook, Carl Junction Superintendent.
On October 25, though, the school received a report from a former female student, now an adult, speaking out about her experience with Frakes.
“We brought him in to inform him of that, gave him due process. During that process, we heard enough that his employment was terminated at that time. We called law enforcement and it was hotlined to the Missouri Children’s Division, and, at that point, they’ve handled it,” stated Cook.
“The school district did their job. The subject passed a background check, had worked for several years, preyed upon a child victim and the only person at fault in this is him,” said Carl Junction Chief of Police Delmar Haase.
Carl Junction schools sent a message to parents regarding the arrest, a comfort to Starkey.
“As soon as they found out something at all, we got emails, and phone calls and it was on Facebook…so I don’t feel less safe with my kids because I know that they’re doing such a good job to keep them safe.”
Dennis Frakes is still in jail. His bond is set at $50,000.
Authorities are now asking any other possible victims to come forward.
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