- Herbert Lee House charged with bus sexual assault of Down syndrome woman
Police say that a 19-year-old woman with Down syndrome who rode the Route 64 bus through downtown St. Paul last Tuesday was totally dependent on others for her well being. Herbert Lee House took advantage of that vulnerability by persuading her to perform oral sex.
By the time he was finished with her, she was in tears. Now House, 22, is in the Ramsey County jail, charged with criminal sexual assault.
House's alleged victim was a student at St. Paul's Transition to Independence school and part of a group of handicapped adults who boarded the bus with a minder that morning. Witnesses on the bus saw the woman's head bobbing up and down on his lap. They say he tried to coerce her into getting off the bus with him. Security cameras caught him in the act
When police arrested him Friday, he told them he believed she had Down syndrome, but then proceeded to pin the blame for all the trouble on her: She gave him a hug, she asked to be his boyfriend, she touched him.
House says he doesn't remember a thing about oral sex. He was in "the zone."
And the attendant who was supposed to be watching the woman professed to having no clue about what was going on. The St. Paul school district is looking into that oversight.
Meanwhile, House faces the possibility of more than 20 years in prison if he's found guilty on third-degree and fourth-degree sexual assault charges.