BROWN COUNTY – A Brown County judge gave a former school bus driver busted in an undercover child sex sting a second chance Friday.
As part of a plea deal, Victor Iakimenko will avoid a felony conviction and deportation.
FOX 11’s cameras were on hand when Operation Black Veil II netted the former Green Bay school bus driver in September 2013. Officers Iakimenko chatted with online said he thought he was meeting a 15-year-old girl for a sexual act.
In Brown County Court Friday, Iakimenko pleaded no contest to soliciting prostitution.
“He placed an ad on Craigslist looking for that kind of encounter with somebody. So, I mean, he was guilty of that, he admitted that,” said Iakimenko’s attorney, Alf Langan.
The 34-year-old Russian native entered an Alford plea to the more serious charge of child enticement to avoid deportation. An Alford plea means Iakimenko admits there is enough evidence for a conviction, but he maintains his innocence.
“In the end it was an appropriate outcome, I think the district attorney worked well with us in getting this case resolved,” Langan said.
Prosecutors say even though Iakimenko was willing to have sexual contact with a minor, they felt comfortable offering the deal because Iakimenko had posted an ad looking for an adult, not a child.
“Victor Iakimenko was driving a school bus with kids on it, and you’re saying it’s okay not to convict him and deport him?” FOX 11’s Laura Smith questioned District Attorney David Lasee.
“Correct. I mean, I think, under the facts and circumstances this was the appropriate resolution. There’s no allegation that he had any sexual contact with any of those children. There’s no allegation that he was specifically targeting young children by his ad,” Lasee responded.
The judge backed the deal.
Iakimenko will serve 30 days in jail, spend two years on probation and must complete sex perpetrator counseling.
“The behavior is disturbing and merits us keeping an eye on him for the next two years,” Lasee said.
“He’s not a danger to anybody. He’s never been attracted to children. He has no history of that,” said Langan.
If Iakimenko violates his two-year probation, he will be convicted of child enticement and deported. If he stays clean, that felony charge will be wiped from his record.
Iakimenko will serve his jail time next month.