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School bus assistant charged with molesting six children

The accused was employed as an assistant helping students with special needs.
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A school bus attendant has been charged with a string of sexual assaults on children.

Harvey Kneifl, 70, of Woodbury, is accused of touching six children under the age of 13 on the South Washington County School District bus, the Washington County Attorney's Office announced on Thursday.

According to the attorney's office, video footage from inside the bus showed Kneifl, on two separate occasions, touching six children on teir genitals over their clothing.

Three of these children confirmed to police afterwards that this happened.

The bus was for pre-K and special needs children, with Kneifl working assisting the students with special needs.

In the criminal complaint, posted online by the Pioneer Press, police launched an investigation after one of the victims, a pre-school student, told their parents that Kneifl had rubbed her genital area "in a rough manner" four or five times.

Subsequent video footage showed him touching other girls on the bus in a similar manner. During his interview with police, Kneifl said he "likes to tickle, poke and hug" the children and would rub their thighs, but would not touch their genitals.

In his statement, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said: "The first duty of this office is the protection of our children. What this defendant is alleged to have done is totally abhorrent to society. The case will be prosecuted with that standard in mind."

KSTP reports that Kneifl was arrested at his home, in a senior living center in Woodbury. He does not have a previous criminal record in Minnesota or in his previous home state of Georgia.

He has been charged with six counts of 2nd degree sexual assault and is expected to appear in court on Friday.

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