A 20-year-old man testified in court Wednesday that his former bus driver, Jimmy Wall, repeatedly raped and molested him when he was 10 years old. Wall’s attorney denied the claims, and alleged that the case was about “money and greed.”
Wall is charged in Thurston County Superior Court with four counts of first-degree child rape and two counts of first-degree child molestation. The trial began Monday with jury selection, and is expected to last about six days.
Judge Chris Lanese is hearing the case, which will be decided by a jury.
Deputy Prosecutor Brandi Archer said that the alleged abuse took place during the 2007-2008 school year, when the student was in fifth grade. In her opening statement, she said the relationship began with a friendship on the school bus, and progressed to Wall taking the alleged victim geocaching, an activity in which people look for hidden objects using GPS coordinates.
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It was on these expeditions that Wall raped and molested him, Archer said.
The Olympian typically doesn’t name victims in criminal cases.
The alleged victim described the allegations in court, saying that Wall and another former Olympia bus driver, Gary Schafer, sexually assaulted him in Wall’s van. The incidents occurred during 20 to 30 geocaching trips.
He said that he didn’t tell his mother about the incidents until years later, when she asked him if anything had happened.
“I was ashamed,” he said. “I didn’t tell (my mom) for awhile.”
Wayne Fricke, Wall’s attorney, said they don’t dispute that the alleged victim rode Wall’s bus. But Fricke said Wall took him geocaching only once.
And Fricke denied the other allegations.
“This case, we think the evidence will show, is all about money and greed,” Fricke said.
The alleged victim and his mother have made allegations against Wall and Schafer since 2014.
In October of that year, the alleged victim’s mother filed a $2.5 million claim on his behalf against the Olympia School District. The claim referenced sexual abuse by Schafer. A lawsuit regarding the allegations was filed in Thurston County Superior Court the following year.
In May 2016, the criminal charges were filed against Wall. A tort claim and civil suit followed later that year.
In September of this year, Schafer was charged jointly in the criminal case. Schafer, 39, already is serving 14-1/2 years to life after pleading guilty to child molestation and child pornography charges.
Schafer faces four counts of first-degree child rape. He also is a former Olympia school bus driver, and Wall’s former roommate. The new allegations against Schafer involve the same alleged victim as in Wall’s case.
The alleged victim testified Wednesday that he believed he told his mother about the abuse just prior to his 18th birthday, in 2015. Fricke pointed out that he must have told her earlier than that, as the first claim was filed in 2014.
He later said that he had a hard time remembering dates, and tended to remember things in terms of what year he was in school.
Fricke had the alleged victim read a portion of one of the lawsuits — the one regarding Schafer — which alleged that he was sexually assaulted by Schafer in Wall’s van during his sixth-grade year. The lawsuit also states that Wall and Schafer took him geocaching during that school year.
However, he testified Wednesday that he had no significant contact with Wall following fifth grade.
The alleged victim said there was some incorrect information in the lawsuit.
Fricke referenced the $2.5 million dollar claim and asked the alleged victim if he had filed the lawsuits for money, and the alleged victim said he hadn’t.
He said he hadn’t understood the process — primarily, the difference between civil and criminal cases — and came forward because he wanted to hold Wall accountable.
“The whole point of me going to the attorneys to begin with, like I told Brandi (Archer), was to get law enforcement involved,” the alleged victim said.