Grand Rapids — A former bus driver who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a passenger with special needs in Grand Rapids was sentenced to life in prison.

The Grand Rapids Press reported Theron Cramartie, 62, was sentenced Thursday in Kent County Circuit Court on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Police said Cramartie drove the 35-year-old woman, who was the only passenger at the time, to a secluded area in January 2015 and raped her. Judge Dennis Leiber called the crime despicable during the sentencing hearing.

“That conduct saddens, sickens and disgusts whoever learns of these facts,” Leiber said. “You abused your access and responsibility to perform these savage and brutal acts on this woman.”

The victim’s mother read a letter from her daughter in court Thursday.

“I’m miserable all the time because you did this,” the victim wrote. “It took trust from me. I feel awful and I feel used.”

The victim’s family has filed a lawsuit against Cramartie, the city of Grand Rapids, GO!Bus, MV Transportation and the mental health organization Network 180.

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