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California Driving Instructor Accused of Sexually Abusing, Secretly Recording Teen Students During Lessons

Driving Instructor Accused of Molesting, Recording Teen Students
Source: San Diego Police Department; Mega

Driving instructor Richard Joseph Banks allegedly recorded himself sexually abusing teen students, officials said.

Jan. 17 2024, Published 3:01 p.m. ET

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A driving instructor in California was arrested after he allegedly sexually abused teens he was teaching, according to authorities.

On Jan. 11, Richard Joseph Banks, 50, was arrested and is facing 32 charges, including using a minor to create obscene material, sexual battery and invasion of privacy, according to court records obtained by KNSD.

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Banks was a driving instructor for the American Driving School based in El Cajon. He is accused of carrying out multiple assaults during his driving lessons with the school while also secretly recording the undergarments and the victims using a camera he allegedly positioned in his vehicle, court records claimed.

Daniel Tackett, owner of American Driving School, said all of Banks’ driving lessons were canceled once they learned about the investigation into his alleged crimes in November.

“We were shocked by the allegations against Joe,” Tackett told KNSD. “His actions are his alone, and they violate the trust and policies of our company and those of the DMV regarding inappropriate behavior. He hasn’t taught any students after SDPD notified us of their investigation. We’ve always encouraged parents to ride on the lessons for observation of our teaching methods. As with all DMV licensed instructors, Joe passed a DOJ background check before he was hired.”

Banks had been working for the company for about a year and got positive reviews from parents and was referred to by other families, Tackett told KFMB.

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“We’ve been doing this for a long time and we take it very seriously so when something like this happens, it’s just devastating to us," Tackett said of the allegations.

Detectives are reportedly searching for more victims.

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