The trial of a former Olympia school bus driver accused of sexually assaulting a former student wrapped up Tuesday. Now, its up to a 12-person jury to decide whether Jimmy W. Wall is guilty.
Wall, 51, was charged in 2016 with four counts of first-degree child rape and two counts of first-degree child molestation. He was accused of sexually assaulting a then-10-year-old boy who attended Madison Elementary School during and after the 2007-2008 school year.
The trial was before Judge Chris Lanese in Thurston County Superior Court.
The alleged victim in the case, now 20, took the stand last week and testified that Wall and another former Olympia school bus driver, Gary Shafer, sexually assaulted him in Wall’s van. The incidents occurred during 20 to 30 geocaching trips, he said.
During her closing statement Tuesday, Deputy Prosecutor Brandi Archer said several times that it was difficult for the alleged victim to testify in the case. The Olympian typically doesn’t name victims in criminal cases.
Wall testified Monday, and said that he did take the alleged victim geocaching during that school year — but only once. Wall pointed to online logs he keeps on a geocaching website, and said the alleged victim only appears on one entry: April 5, 2008. He read one of the log entries from that date aloud to the courtroom.
“Nice easy find with (the alleged victim). Was starting to rain. Glad I came out when I did,” Wall read.
Some of the details didn’t line up between Wall and the alleged victim’s testimony. The young man said that Wall drove a white van, while Wall said he owned a purple van. Wall’s attorney, Wayne Fricke, showed the jury a photo of the van.
Archer said Tuesday that the color of the van doesn’t matter.
“So a 10-year-old, 10 years later doesn’t remember the color of the van,” Archer said. “He remembers it was a van.”
She also said that Wall could have left entries involving the alleged victim out of the log.
There also were differences in the testimonies regarding the timing of geocaching trips and Wall’s possible presence at an after-school program. The alleged victim said that Wall was often present at the after-school program — which ran until about 5 p.m. — and said that Wall introduced him to Shafer at that program.
In a court document filed in May 2016, Wall is accused of sexually assaulting the alleged victim during the after-school program. However, those allegations weren’t mentioned during the trial.
Wall said during his testimony that he was never present during the after-school program. He said he usually worked until about 4:45 p.m.
Fricke said Tuesday during his closing statement that the alleged victim lied when he made the accusations against Wall.
“He has a motivation to lie, and it all comes down to money and greed,” Fricke said.
Since 2014, the alleged victim and his mother have made allegations against Wall and Shafer, who is Wall’s former roommate. Civil lawsuits have been filed against the Olympia School District referencing the alleged abuse by Wall and Shafer.
In September, Shafer, 39, was charged jointly in the criminal case. He already is serving 14-1/2 years to life after pleading guilty to child molestation and child pornography charges.
Shafer faces four counts of first-degree child rape. The new allegations against Shafer involve the same alleged victim as in Wall’s case.