Local school bus driver charged with child rape

32-year-old Derek Thistle of Marlborough had nothing to say after leaving a Middlesex Superior Court hearing.

He is facing charges that he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy he knew at his apartment.

According to the prosecutor’s statement of the case, the abuse was first discovered when the child in Alabama was Face Timing Thistle here in Massachusetts.

The boy’s aunt allegedly overheard the conversation and saw Thistle exposing himself to the young boy.

According to the document, the boy told both his mother and his aunt that Thistle had previously sexually assaulted the child when he was allowed to stay at Thistle’s Marlborough apartment.

Derek Thistle was employed as a school bus driver in Littleton.

In a statement, Superintendent Kelly Clenchy says there is no indication that the allegations involve any child, staff member, or faculty member within the Littleton district.

“Our highest priority is ensuring that our students are safe, inside and outside of the classroom,” Clenchy said. “We have been engaging in ongoing discussions with Dee Bus Service to review its current hiring process, and it is our firm expectation that the vendor’s practices prioritize the safety and well-being of our students.”

Parents said they are very concerned about the allegation and wanted to learn more.

Thistle also drove school buses in Marlborough and Sutton.

The Marlborough School superintendent wrote in a statement:

“The bus driver was formerly employed by NRT and was not an MPS employee. The individual drove routes within the district from 2018-2022, having passed all state, district and company background checks. There is no indication that any Marlborough student, staff, or faculty member was involved in this incident.”

As for Thistle, both he and his attorney were not interested in speaking after the arraignment.

Thistle is due back in court at a later date.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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