Bus driver sentenced to nine years in prison for stalking 8-year-old boy

The man threatened the boy and coerced him into taking inappropriate photos of himself.

A former school bus driver accused of stalking and threatening an 8-year-old New Hampshire boy has been sentenced to nine years in prison, The Associated Press reported.

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Michael Chick, of Eliot, Maine, was arrested in 2022 and pleaded guilty last month in federal court to one count of cyberstalking. He also was sentenced to three years’ supervised release.

Chick worked as a bus driver for First Student, a company that contracts bus drivers, and drove routes in the southeastern New Hampshire towns of Greenland and Rye, according to WGME.

Prosecutors say he gave the boy at Greenland Central School cellphones with instructions to take inappropriate photos of himself, placed tracking devices on his parents’ vehicles and made multiple nighttime visits to the boy’s home, according to court documents.

The boy told investigators that Chick used a story about a group of criminals he called “The Team” who would kill his family, kidnap him and torture him if he did not comply with his demands, the AP reported.

The boy’s parents became concerned with what they believed was Chick’s obsession with their son and filed a report with police.

Chick was reassigned to different bus routes but continued to contact the boy, according to the court documents. The family reported him to police again after finding two cellphones in a lunchbox in the boy’s bedroom.

“Michael Chick’s crimes caused unimaginable pain and fear for the survivor and his family. It is only because of their bravery and diligence that the defendant’s crimes were uncovered,” U.S. Attorney Jane Young said in a statement. “While Michael Chick’s incarceration will not erase the trauma he inflicted, it will hopefully provide some measure of justice for the survivor and his family.”

A judge had previously rejected a plea deal that included a six-year prison sentence, saying it was not long enough, according to USA Today.