SALEM, Mass. — A former school bus driver charged with kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old special needs student nearly 20 years ago is scheduled to stand trial this fall.

A lawyer for 44-year-old Henry Gonzalez said in court Wednesday that he and prosecutors are discussing a deal that could resolve the case before trial in September. The Salem News reports that Gonzalez was previously scheduled to stand trial in 2000 before he disappeared.

Prosecutors say they discovered the former bus driver was living in the Dominican Republic nearly a decade later.

Authorities allege that in 1998 Gonzalez picked up the girl at her home, but instead of taking her to school he took her to a Lynn apartment and raped her.

Gonzalez remains held without bail in the case.


Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com