Sources: TriMet sup. observed driver, girl 4 different times

Sources: TriMet sup. observed driver, girl 4 different times »Play Video
Christopher Alden Parker appears in court Wednesday on charges that he sexually abused a girl he met on his bus route.

PORTLAND, Ore. - According to sources, a TriMet supervisor on four different occasions in a month saw a then 14-year-old girl riding a bus back to the garage with the driver who was arrested Tuesday accused of sexually abusing her.

On all four occasions the lights on the bus were off and there was no one else on board.

Christopher Alden Parker, 53, was arrested at his Southeast Portland home Tuesday on charges of sex abuse in the third degree, online sexual corruption in the first degree and several counts of violating a stalking order.

He appeared before a Multnomah County judge Wednesday wearing an outfit revealing he’s on suicide watch.

“The basis of the sex abuse charges relate to kissing and fondling the breasts of the victim,” said prosecutor Don Rees.

Rees said Parker also e-mailed and texted the girl who he met as she rode his route in Southwest Portland a year ago.

The messages include: “It’s been a pleasure playing with you tonight … I’m such a naughty boy.”

According to TriMet, it started an investigation when a supervisor noticed Parker giving family and friends rides on his bus off-route and without a destination.

Initially, TriMet was investigating the rule violations. In the course of that investigation, the agency became more concerned.

“To me that says we’re a very open agency,” TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said. “And we’re very willing to say, ‘hey, police, we think we have an issue, will you come and look at this and see if there is any criminal wrongdoing. So I think we did all the right things.”

Once the girl’s father found out, he hired an attorney, Josh Lamborn, and got a court order to keep Parker away from his daughter. It was an order Parker admits he violated no fewer than 10 times.

“It’s not a fun process for anybody to go through and they’re especially worried about their daughter and they’re just trying to do everything they can to make sure she’s safe,” Lamborn said. “It’s been very difficult. So they’d like this to be over.”

The question remains, however, if a supervisor saw the girl on Parker’s bus four times last October when he was out of service with his lights off and heading back to the garage why something wasn’t done then? And why did it take five months for this to come to light?

TriMet says when it knew enough that seemed to be of concern police were called but can’t offer any more detail because of the ongoing criminal investigation.