Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office dismissed rape and child molestation charges against a former Kent School District bus driver after deciding it couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ansu Aoyub Konneh, 39, of Renton, faced two counts of first-degree rape of a child and one count of first-degree child molestation, according to charging documents. He had a trial date of May 6, but charges were dismissed April 26.

“We believe the victim,” said Casey McNerthney, spokesperson for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, in a May 14 email. “However, with the admissible evidence - specifically medical tests - we cannot prove the charges against the bus driver beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Prosecutors dismissed the case without prejudice, which means the case can be brought back to court.

“But if additional information is referred to us by police investigators on the bus driver or another subject, prosecutors will re-review the case,” McNerthney said. “It’s our understanding that this case is still an open investigation with police.”

Kent Police did not yet respond to a request for comment about the case.

In charging documents, prosecutors had claimed that Konneh allegedly raped an 11-year-old female student multiple times over three months inside a bus before dropping her off at her stop.

The incidents reportedly occurred between April 12, 2021 and June 30, 2021. The elementary school girl was the last student Konneh would drop off during his afternoon route. The girl came forward with information about the incidents in March 2023. Prosecutors filed charges June 30, 2023.

Konneh pleaded not guilty to the charges on Aug. 31, 2023. Konneh was booked Aug. 19, 2023 into the King County jail. Bail was set at $100,000. A judge approved Konneh’s release to electronic home monitoring on March 22, 2024, according to court records. With the dismissal of charges, he has been removed from electronic home monitoring.

Prosecutors claimed that Konneh reportedly gained the girl’s trust with chips and snacks in order to gain access to her body, according to charging papers. He allegedly would park at a remote location where the girl said she could see cars in the distance and trees around her.

The stepmother of the girl called Kent Police in March 2023 to report her stepdaughter reportedly had been sexually assaulted on her Kent school bus a year or so ago.

The girl attended her in-school counseling session in March 2023 when she wrote a note to her male counselor that she wanted to see his private area, according to charging documents. The counselor contacted the stepmother, who then asked the girl if she had ever seen a man’s private area before.

The girl then went into details about what the driver allegedly would do on the bus and later revealed more details during a child forensic interview to talk about the “bus situation,” according to charging documents.

The girl said the driver told her not to tell anyone about what they did and if she did, he would take her to his house, according to court documents. He reportedly told her he was not married and he didn’t have anybody which is why he was doing those things to her.

A Kent detective contacted the human resources director for the Kent School District who said Konneh had asked for a leave of absence in March 2022 without providing a reason. The district ultimately fired him from the district in September 2022 for job abandonment.

Following the report of the girl’s sexual assault, her father took her to Valley Medical Center in Renton for a sexual assault exam. The girl’s blood work returned with a positive result for herpes simplex virus 2, a lifelong infection, according to charging papers.

A doctor from the UW Medicine Virology Research Clinic told a detective that the virus can only be acquired through sexual contact, according to court documents.

According to documents provided to the Kent News from a school district resident, the district hired Konneh in March 2018 as a substitute bus driver and in April 2018 he was reassigned as a full-time driver.

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