A former bus driver for a service that provides rides for the elderly and people with disabilities in St. Clair County was sentenced for sexually assaulting a 74-year-old woman with dementia.
Paul S. Rongey Jr., 66 of Belleville, was an employee of Alternative Transportation Services in April 2016 when he pulled off the road to a gravel lot on Sullivan Drive near Llewelyn Drive in Swansea and forced the 74-year-old woman to have sex before dropping her off at an adult day care facility, according to court documents.
Rongey and the woman were the only two people on the bus at the time of the assault, police said.
The woman told her family that she had been sexually assaulted, police said in December 2016 after Rongey was charged. She was taken to a local hospital, and a sexual assault kit was completed. DNA from the kit matched Rongey, and he was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a person over 60 and one count of excess of contractual responsibility.
All charges besides one count of aggravated sexual assault of a person over 60 were dropped as a part of a plea deal. Rongey was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of probation. Rongey will serve his jail time in the St. Clair County Jail. He’ll also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Court records with GPS tracking information from Rongey’s bus show he was parked in the gravel lot in Swansea for five minutes before setting off toward the adult day care facility.
ATS is a curb-to-curb community service for individuals certified as Americans with Disabilities Act eligible, and for those 60 and older in some areas. The ride costs $4 per trip, and reservations must be made in advance.