(KMSP) - A former Woodbury bus assistant faces 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a minor.
Harvey Kneifl, 71, was arrested in February after inappropriately touching what is now confirmed as 10 girls under the age of 13, according to the criminal complaint. Kneifl was a bus assistant on routes dedicated to pre-K and special education students.
The allegations came after parents of a pre-school student reported that their daughter told them she was inappropriately touched on the way to school on Feb. 3, 2017.
Officers collected bus video, rosters and contact information for the students on the particular bus route and any other routes Kneifl has worked. In the video, he can be seen "touching the genital area of multiple girls in a sexual manner over their clothing."
Kneifl was immediately placed on administrative leave. The school district confirmed Wednesday that Kneifl is no longer an employee.
According to the criminal complaint, during an interview, Kneifl said he likes to "tickle, poke and hug the children, that he puts his hands on the girls thighs rubbing them." He denied rubbing any of the genital areas, claiming he makes the girls "feel good because they come from a hard life and likely do not get any sort of affection at home,"
He said he believes he becomes closer to the children than their parents, and he likes sitting by the girls on the bus because they are "more fun."
Kneifl touched at least 10 girls, nine of whom were born in 2012.