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Littleton bus aide accused of assaulting disabled students appears in court, faces 10 additional charges

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Arapahoe County prosecutors on Friday filed an additional 10 charges against a Littleton Public Schools bus aide who they allege repeatedly physically abused nonverbal autistic kids as they traveled to school.

Kiarra Jones, 29, repeatedly abused two severely disabled boys on a bus with autism and developmental disability this school year, between December and March, prosecutors say. She was arrested in April on a charge of assault.

She now faces nine felony charges for third-degree assault on an at-risk child, and two misdemeanor charges for child abuse of an at-risk child. The charges point to additional victims who suffered abuse from Jones.

Jones briefly appeared in court Friday afternoon for a first hearing. She had already posted bond and has applied to be represented by public defenders. An arraignment was set for July 1.

Lawyers representing parents of two of the victims released camera footage from the bus that showed Jones repeatedly elbowing nonverbal kids strapped in harnesses and stomping on their feet.

She was hired at LPS in August 2023 and was fired in March, once officials said they discovered what she was doing.

In her seven-month employment, police say she hit kids, pulled their hair, elbowed in the face, and stomach and flicked their faces.

All school year, parents were perplexed why their kids were coming home from school, which they trusted, with bruises and broken bones.

Ed Hopkins Jr. is an attorney representing a handful of families so far and called Littleton Public Schools to hold themselves accountable.

“This was an institutional failure. Multiple people had to fail for this to happen,” Hopkins said, at an earlier press conference. “There was video in the bus, and it still happened over months. The family reached out to the school and it still continued to happen.”

CPR team editor Alison Borden contributed to this report.

To read more stories from Colorado Public Radio, visit www.cpr.org.