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TBTA / parents reach agreement in class action lawsuit

Submitted by on January 9, 2019 – 12:56 amNo Comment

The Thunder Bay Transportation Authority and a group of Alpena parents whose children, many with special needs, were sexually assaulted on TBTA buses have reached a tentative agreement in a class action lawsuit.

The suit stems from the conviction of 28 year-old Andrew Bartz of Alpena, who was convicted in 2016 of sexually assaulting at least 10 children while working as a bus aide for the TBTA.  He was employed by Prell Services, which supplied aides to the transportation authority.

The monetary settlement between TBTA and the families still needs to be approved by a judge.  In addition, the total amount of the deal may never be known as True North Radio Network has been told the agreement will be sealed, which means it would not be made public.

The terms of the deal are also unknown at this time.  The class action lawsuit not only includes families of the victims named in the Bartz lawsuit, but other families of children who were also allegedly assaulted during the same timeframe, in 2014-15.

Bartz is serving 20-30 years in prison for sexually assaulting 9 children on TBTA buses in Alpena, some as young as 3 years-old.  Some of victims were pre-schoolers but the vast majority are mentally handicapped.

Bartz also sexually assaulted a 3 year-old boy in Alcona County, also while working as a bus aide.  He is serving his time at the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia.

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