A former Olympia school bus driver, convicted in 2011 of molesting three girls, has again been accused of sexually assaulting another student.
Gary Shafer, 39, has been serving a 14 1/2 -year sentence at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen since pleading guilty to three counts of child molestation and one child pornography possession charge.
The new allegation of sexual abuse involves a boy and occurred about 10 years ago. It surfaced as the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office investigated another alleged sex crime.
Shafer appeared in Thurston County Superior Court on Thursday, and Judge Chris Lanese found probable cause for one first-degree child rape charge. Shafer is being held at the Thurston County jail, although he has about seven years left on his previous sentence.
Never miss a local story.
Olympia police arrested Shafer’s former roommate, Jimmy Wall, 51, last year. Wall, also a former Olympia school bus driver, is charged with four counts of first-degree child rape, and two counts of first-degree child molestation involving a 10-year-old boy during the 2007-2008 school year.
During an interview with prosecutors, Wall’s alleged victim also accused Shafer of sexually assaulting him, according to court documents.
The victim reported that he became close to Wall during the school year, and Wall invited him to go geocaching at Lions Park and LBA Park, both in Olympia. Wall allegedly picked up the child in a white van on weekends and on weekdays during the summer.
The two would go to secluded areas of the woods where the boy said Wall would sexually assault him. The boy said Wall had sex with him on more than 10 occasions.
The boy told detectives that he was part of the YMCA after-school program at Madison Elementary, and that Wall was frequently present, according to court documents. The boy said Wall would take him to a storage shed and touch his genitals under his clothes. He also alleged that Wall would sexually assault him near the school’s stage, where it was dark.
The boy’s mother confirmed some of his statements; she said she remembered Wall taking her son geocaching and remembered seeing him at the after-school program, according to court documents.
A detective went to Stafford Creek Corrections Center and talked to Shafer, who said he remembered Wall taking children geocaching — and remembered him taking the boy specifically on several occasions.
Shafer said he found it “strange” that Wall was alone with children, according to court documents.
However, the boy told investigators that Shafer accompanied him and Wall on geocaching trips about five times. On those occasions, Shafer also sexually assaulted him, the boy reported.
Shafer insisted during the interview that he had only sexually assaulted girls, according to court documents. He also said he had never gone geocaching with Wall and the boy.
Shafer was transferred from Stafford Creek to the Thurston County Jail on Sept. 1 for court proceedings. Olympia detectives visited him, and informed him that he would likely be charged with first-degree child rape, as a co-defendant in Wall’s case.
Wall’s case had been scheduled to begin next week, but was postponed because a witness was not available. The trial is now scheduled for Oct. 9.
The Olympia School District faced multiple civil suits after Shafer’s case. One family settled their lawsuit for $1.4 million.