Substitute School Bus Driver Arrested for Alleged Molestation

OCEANO – A substitute bus driver for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education has been arrested for repeatedly molesting a child under the age of 14 and now faces a multitude of felony counts related to alleged abuse.

Daniel Lewis Zaldivar

Daniel Lewis Zaldivar, 28, of Oceano, was taken into custody on Thursday, June 20, on suspicion of continuous sexual abuse of a minor, which authorities believe occurred over the course of a four-year period beginning in 2004 and resuming in August 2010, according to the complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office.

He was arraigned on the charges Tuesday morning and pleaded not-guilty to all the counts, which includes 88 counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, one count of forcible rape and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object.

“It’s a huge complaint because the length of time was so long,” said Jerret Gran, chief deputy district attorney.

Zaldivar has worked for the county Office of Education since May 2005, when he was hired as a custodian and substitute bus driver.

He passed a mandatory pre-employment background check prior to being offered employment with the agency and has no arrest record since that time, according to Christin Newlon, Office of Education chief human resources officer.

Newlon said Zaldivar was a good employee and that his arrest for alleged child molestation came as a surprise to the agency.

Per state law, Zaldivar has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case filed against him.

At this time, there’s only one known victim in the case, according to the Sheriff’s Office. However, authorities are seeking information about other possible victims, and anyone with information about the case is urged to call (805) 781-4550 or contact Det. Clint Cole at (805) 781-4913.

Substitute School Bus Driver Arrested for Alleged Molestation was last modified: June 25th, 2013 by admin
Categories: San Luis Obispo

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April Charlton

April Charlton is a freelance journalist who specializes in criminal and local government matters. She has more than 11-plus years of experience as a reporter, covering everything from cops and courts to city and county governments. She writes for CrimeVoice and several newspapers on the Central Coast, including the Santa Maria Times, a daily publication, and its sister papers, Times Press Recorder and The Adobe Press. She may be reached at for any comments or suggestions that you may have.