AUGUSTA, Maine — A bus driver accused of slapping a student with autism returned to court Wednesday.
Raymond Files is a former bus driver from MSAD 15, which includes Gray and New Gloucester. He was fired last August after a witness and a security camera caught him striking Bradley Seavey, a 19-year-old non-verbal boy with autism.
Files originally pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge in October.
"To me in my mind, I just can't see how somebody can hit a disabled, defenseless child that can't even speak," said the Bradley's mother, Melissa Seavey in court. "And if the aide on the bus didn't report it, it never would have been even looked at -- the video."
Bradley was attending the Margaret Murphy Center for Children, a special needs school, when the incident happened. According to Melissa, Files asked her son to buckle his seat-belt when he saw the boy spinning it. Bradley continued to spin the seat-belt, since it is a common habit of his, and Files reportedly hit him on the head.
Files changed his plea to 'no contest' on Wednesday, March 13. As part of the plea deal, Files will pay a fine of $1,000. A maximum fine for a class-D misdemeanor is normally $300.
Melissa told NEWS CENTER Maine she is disappointed that Files is not going to jail.
"He's sitting there saying, 'Oh, I lost my job. I lost my friends.' Like I'm supposed to feel bad for him? My son's the one that has to pay for it. He's the one that can't trust now, and he's scared. People he really trusts -- now he's scared of. He's the one that's suffering -- not him."