GLENDALE, Calif. – A Southern California school bus driver has been arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a child and investigators believe there are other victims, police announced Wednesday.
Denis Alcazar, 34, of Los Angeles was arrested on May 2 on suspicion of false imprisonment and substantial sexual conduct with a child under 14, police said.
Glendale police began an investigation on Oct. 5, 2017, when they received a report about "inappropriate contact" between the alleged victim, who is a 4-year-old with special needs, and her school bus driver. The girl lives in Glendale, a city roughly 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
The investigation led to another alleged victim in the city of Bell Gardens, some 20 miles south of Los Angeles. In that incident from five years ago, Alcazar allegedly sexually molested his girlfriend's daughter while he babysat her, police said. The daughter was also 4 years old at the time.
Alcazar pleaded not guilty on May 3 to one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under age 14 and one count of false imprisonment by violence, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Police said the false imprisonment count is for the Glendale girl, while the other count is for the Bell Gardens child.
In a news release, police said they discovered "other victims from Los Angeles and Bell Gardens" but they did not elaborate on those cases. An email from Glendale police described Alcazar as a "man who allegedly sexually assaulted a child."
A Glendale Police Department sergeant told KTLA he suspects Alcazar of attacking other children.
“I personally don't believe that this is going to be the first time this individual’s done this," Sgt. Dan Suttles said. "If he did it five years ago, and now he’s doing it again, there’s a long span in between. I fear that he’s out there victimizing other children.”
Alcazar was employed by the First Student Bus Co. at the time of the incident with the 4-year-old in Glendale, and he most recently worked for Brooks Transportation, police said. Both companies contract with school districts across Los Angeles County.
First Student Bus Co. has removed Alcazar from service and he is no longer with the company, which is cooperating with police and Glendale Unified School District, according to company spokesman Chris Kemper. A spokesperson for Brooks Transportation declined to comment.
Alcazar remains in custody at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, and his bail was set at $400,000, inmate records indicate. He is scheduled to appear in court in Pasadena on June 15 for a preliminary setting hearing.
Officials believe there may be more victims and ask anyone with information to call 818-548-3106.