MAYVILLE - The Randolph bus driver accused of sexually abusing a juvenile male last year had every sexual abuse charge against him dropped Wednesday.
According to David Foley, Chautauqua County District Attorney, John O. Hitchcock pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, the result of a plea agreement between the District Attorney's Office and the juvenile's family and attorney.
Hitchcock is expected to receive three years of probation for the charge, Foley said.
All seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse were dropped.
"I would like to thank my family and the Randolph community for supporting us during this time," Nicole Smallback, daughter of John Hitchock, said Wednesday.
Foley's office issued the following press release Wednesday afternoon:
John Hitchcock pled guilty in Chautauqua County Court to Endangering the Welfare of a Child to satisfy an indictment arising out of the defendant's employment as a bus driver for Randolph Central Schools. The plea covered a number of charges contained in the original indictment relating to a student. District Attorney Foley noted, "Our Assistant District Attorneys worked closely with the victim's family throughout the investigation of this difficult case and the ultimate resolution. The guilty plea insured that the very young victim would be spared the trauma of testifying in court, and held the defendant accountable. We had several meetings with the family on this case and we all agreed that this plea was in the best interest of the child. Cases with such young victims can be quite difficult, not only to prove, but also the impact they can have on these children. I am grateful for the communication and support of the victim's family and hope that this plea allows them a sense of resolution."
Sentencing is scheduled for July 14, 2014.