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Traverse City – A former school bus driver charged with inappropriately touching a student on his bus has pleaded guilty in the case.

Larry Beutler of Buckley is awaiting sentencing on March 9 after entering the plea last week to two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration. The 66-year-old was charged in October with second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Beutler worked for Dean Transportation, which provides bus services for Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, until he was accused in the case. Investigators say he inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl while the school bus was parked.

Beutler, who faces up to 10 years in prison, had been scheduled for trial. The plea agreement means that the girl won’t be called to testify in the case.

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