A one-day court trial has been rescheduled in the case of a First Student bus driver accused of abusing a student on his bus, according to electronic court records.
Initially scheduled to stand trial June 29, the trial of Terry Rice, of St. Clair, has been rescheduled for Dec. 1. Judge David L. Hoven will hear the case. Rice has been charged with eight counts of kidnapping and one count of fourth-degree assault, both misdemeanors, in Franklin County. Each of the kidnapping charges represent one month that the alleged incidents occurred, according to court documents.
In Warren County, Rice also has been charged with child abuse, a Class D felony. A preliminary hearing, in which 12th Circuit Court Associate Judge Richard L. Scheibe was to determine whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial, was held in this case Tuesday, July 13, as the Wednesday edition of The Missourian went to press.
Rice is also a defendant in a civil case brought by the student’s family in Franklin County. An Oct. 3, 2022, jury trial has been scheduled in the civil case, which 20th Circuit Court Judge Craig Hellmann will hear.
The charges in both criminal cases and the civil case stem from allegations that Rice repeatedly abused one of the children on his bus, according to court records filed by the Union Police Department. The child, who attends Autumn Hill, a state-funded school in Union for children with disabilities, is nonverbal and was unable to alert educators or his parents to the alleged abuse.
In a statement, a bus aide told officials at Autumn Hill that she personally witnessed Rice use “homemade restraints” on the child. The aide also provided photos to school officials that showed the child restrained or “hog-tied,” according to court documents.
Due to the nature of the crimes alleged and the age of the child, the name of the child is not being released.
The bus was not equipped with a functioning video camera, according to the family’s attorney.