Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bus Driver Accused Of 'Sexting,' Touching Students

Deputies Searching For Eric Ulrich

GARVIN COUNTY, Okla. -- Deputies in Garvin County are searching for a former school bus driver accused of sending explicit text messages to two female students.

Prosecutors filed nine counts of lewd acts or proposal to a minor on Tuesday against 23-year-old Eric Ulrich, who was also a former reserve officer with the city of Mayesville.

Ulrich is also accused of inappropriately touching the two girls.

A mother Eyewitness News 5 talked to said her daughter is traumatized and that part of her innocence is lost. The family said it won’t feel better until Ulrich is in custody.

“I was furious. I mean, she is 14 years old. I couldn’t believe it that somebody would do something like that,” a victim’s mother said. She asked not to be identified to protect her daughter.

“She came to me first and she was afraid. No one would believe her. He was an adult. Who would do something like that?” the mother said.

Sheriff investigators said there were at least 300 text messages in all. The messages were mostly sexual in nature.

Deputies said that Ulrich sent sexually explicit photos to the girls. According to court documents, Ulrich asked the girls to perform sex acts on him.

The act went further, investigators said, when Ulrich tried to touch one of the girls while she slept on the bus.

“As soon as it happened, they told him to stop and he did so and complied. That was some of the point that made the young ladies go to their parents and tell them what was going on,” Garvin County Undersheriff Steve Brooks said.

Brooks credits the parents for trusting their children and taking action.

“I want him caught and put in jail so he doesn’t do this to somebody else,” the mother said.

Deputies said they hope Ulrich will turn himself in.

The court documents also show that Ulrich is married, but he allegedly told the girls he was going through a divorce. He is also has a 9-month-old daughter.

Sheriff investigators said they believe he is somewhere in the area, perhaps staying with family.

Stratford Schools fired Ulrich once it learned of the criminal investigation, as did the city of Mayesville.
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