A former school-bus driver pleaded guilty to child-molestation charges Friday at the Long County Courthouse.
Richard Lee Wilson, 60, was sentenced to 12 years of probation and fined $500 for his involvement in a January 2013 incident involving a 9-year-old girl.
First District Atlantic Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Robert L. Russell III also said Wilson must register as a sex offender and can have no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 18. The judge ordered an evaluation for Wilson within 60 days, and the results will determine his placement on sex-offender probation.
Wilson also faced a second charge of child molestation and a third charge of aggravated child molestation, but under an agreement with the district attorney’s office, those charges were dropped.
Russell said in the courtroom that Wilson had no previous convictions and no involvement in similar cases. In addition, the victim was not restrained during the crime and endured no physical harm in the incident. For those reasons, the judge said, Wilson was not sentenced to serve five years in prison.
Though Wilson pleaded guilty, according to Russell, the plea was made under a clause whereby the defendant does not believe he is guilty but admits guilt because he feels it is in his best interest and also to resolve the case.
Wilson was a bus driver in the Long County School System when the crime occurred, but resigned from his position Feb. 10, 2012.
In separate proceedings, Christopher Tilley, 25, had his case continued to a later date, pending additional charges. Tilley has been charged with two counts of residential burglary in connection with incidents involving homes on Arnold Drive and Buster Phillips Road. He also has been charged with obstruction of a law-enforcement officer and possession of a drug-related object. He was denied bond and currently is incarcerated at the Liberty County Jail.