A north suburban taxi driver for a company that transported special needs elementary students was out of the cab and behind bars Thursday, accused of failing to mention that he was a child sex offender.
Jean Juste, 57, of Skokie, was charged with making a false application or affidavit and presence in a school zone by a child sex offender, according to a statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. He was ordered held on a $300,000 bond.
Since 1998, Juste was a driver for 303 Taxi. As reported by NBC Chicago last month, 303 Taxi is among several which provide transportation for special needs children in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties.
To work in such a capacity, a driver must obtain a school bus permit from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. Prosecutors claimed that when Juste submitted such an application in June 2010, he did not disclose his criminal status.
He submitted and signed the application, stating he had not been convicted of a crime that would disqualify him from driving a school bus. He did not disclose that he had been convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 1993, according to prosecutors. State law would prohibit him from receiving the license with such a criminal background.
The “being present within a school zone” charge came because investigators saw Juste on the grounds of Forest View Elementary School in Mount Prospect transporting children, prosecutors allege.
When questioned after his arrest this week, Juste admitted lying on the driver school bus application and to carrying children from their homes to and from school as recently as a few months ago.
His next court date is set for June 25. As a condition of bond, Juste must not transport children under 18.