MERRILL — A Tomahawk bus driver accused of stalking and abducting a 15-year-old girl who rode on the man’s bus is being held in the Lincoln County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond.
James T. Schmit, 51, appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Friday.
According to the criminal complaint, the teen told police that on June 7, the last day of school, she rode Schmit’s bus when he suggested dropping other students off first. After the bus was empty, Schmit allegedly passed the girl’s house, then drove the girl to his own house. When Schimt finally took the girl home, Schmit allegedly hugged and kissed the girl and told her he loved her, police said.
Video captured inside the bus matched the girl’s account of what happened, police said. The girl was on the bus for more than 40 minutes after passing her home. After the teen got off the bus, the recording also shows Schmit “moaning” and making sexual comments aloud about the girl, according to the complaint.
When interviewed by police, Schmit admitted to having sexual feelings toward girls on his bus several times over the 26 years he had been a bus driver, according to the complaint.
A scheduling conference is set for June 29.