West Tisbury School bus driver charged with indecent assault

Dukes County Courthouse
File photo by Susan Safford

Dukes County Courthouse

A West Tisbury School bus driver faces two charges of indecent assault and battery on a young girl, a charge of assault and battery, and a charge of enticement of a child under 16, arising from a series of incidents that occurred between 2009 and 2010.

Mark A. Bergeron, 47, of Edgartown, was arraigned on the four charges on November 7, in Edgartown District Court.

The victim told police the crimes began when she was nine years old and continued for a year and a half.

According to the police report, Mr. Bergeron used threats and intimidation to discourage the child from telling an adult and used the social media site Facebook to make contact with her.

The court entered not guilty pleas for Mr. Bergeron at his arraignment. He was released on $1,000 bail. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim and not to return to his job as a bus driver.

The investigation began on October 14, when West Tisbury police received a report from Tisbury police concerning a sexual assault. Police notified the West Tisbury School principal, Donna Lowell-Bettencourt, of their investigation that day “to prevent any more possible trauma to another child,” according to the report.

Superintendent James Weiss called police the next morning to advise them that Mr. Bergeron had been immediately suspended with pay from the bus driver position.

According to police, at the time of the incidents, Mr. Bergeron was involved in a relationship with the victim’s mother. The report described many instances of inappropriate sexual behavior including forcing the victim to kiss him, forcing her to touch his genitals, and frequently exposing himself. The incidents happened at the victim’s home, and during a Caribbean vacation.

The police report describes a pattern of Mr. Bergeron visiting the victim when she was alone or with other young girls, at times when Mr. Bergeron knew the child’s mother was not at home.

The police report also describes inappropriate sexual behavior with two other young girls, but Mr. Bergeron has not been charged in those matters. The sexual abuse came to the attention of police after the three girls spoke to each other and decided to speak to their mothers, according to the police report.

Mr. Bergeron could not be reached Friday afternoon for comment.


  1. Donaldjr says:

    What the hell has this island become?

    It’s a safe haven (thankfully getting caught, prosecuted and convicted if proven guilty) for pedophiles, drug user/abusers, wife beaters and rapist including child rape and even peeping pervert toms.

    Are we in an age of just catching these people or are we in an age where there is more of them? This and Bradshaw case mortify me, create fear within me for I lose sight who to trust.

  2. RedSoxPatriotsCelticsBruinsFan says:

    I would like to see a map of the island with all its sex offenders highlighted like alot of towns had on halloween. When done put a link in the paper…thanks

    1. dondondon12 says:

      I would like to see a map of the island with all its gun owners
      highlighted like that town in new york. When done put a link in
      the paper…thanks

      1. RedSoxPatriotsCelticsBruinsFan says:

        Comparing gun owners with sex offenders is like comparing apples and oranges.

        1. Justanative says:

          Not all gun owners are good gun owners ;)

          1. Ouch Man says:

            Not all people are good people.

        2. dondondon12 says:

          yes, but more kids have been shot trick or treating than molested.
          I don’t know why Doug took down my original post with actual links to the facts, so I will just pretend I am a conservative, and not bother with trying to present any facts..

          1. Ouch Man says:

            Doug probably checked the links and found the “facts” to be bogus.

          2. dondondon12 says:

            if doug was fact checking, not a single comment from semmelt would have ever cleared.

          3. Lone_Conservative says:

            So how many island kids were shot while trick or treating during the last year? How many kids on the island were molested during the same time period? Present some facts please.

      2. Ouch Man says:

        Why? Do you want to steal them or have them stolen?

        1. dondondon12 says:

          just want to protect the children. — see comment above.

          You can look up the facts just like I bothered to.

          1. Ouch Man says:

            Are you referring to the B&Es that resulted in NY where houses were targeted and guns stolen due to publication of gun owner data?

          2. dondondon12 says:

            no. I was referring to the number of children shot while trick or treating.

            I thought one of the main reasons to have guns in your home was to deter people from breaking in.

            According to basic nra theory, one of 2 things should have happened in that New York town. Either the crime rate went down because no one would dare to invade a home where they knew the homeowner was armed, or the fine second amendment honoring citizens shot all the burglars, and now there is no more crime.. To tell me now that these homes are being targeted for burglary flies in the face of every reason the nra says we should have guns.

          3. Ouch Man says:

            “I thought one of the main reasons to have guns in your home was to deter people from breaking in. ”

            Sorry that is not even close. There are many reasons but that’s not one. If one chooses to keep a gun for self defense in their home it’s for after their home has been broken into and they are confronted by an intruder.

            “To tell me now that these homes are being targeted for burglary flies in the face of every reason the nra says we should have guns.”
            Please tell us where the official NRA statement says this as you seem to be an expert on “basic NRA theory”.
            Burglars prefer unoccupied homes which is why they case the place first. None of the houses in NY were occupied at the time they were broken into. Robbers don’t care if you are home or not and therefore would prefer an unarmed citizen to rob.
            FYI so far I have found only 1 child shot in 2008 while actually trick-or-treating. Others were at parties including a child mistaken for a skunk.

  3. LocalOpine says:

    Read it and weep, Quote “Police notified the West Tisbury School principal, Donna Lowell-Bettencourt, of their investigation that day “to prevent anymore possible trauma to another child,”
    Then, in the Courts wisdom, they released him on $1000.00 bail…
    Gee wonder if he might inflict trauma to another child while out on this measly, pathetic bail?

  4. Justanative says:

    I do not understand why you have to put the graphic details! It is so wrong,there are people know who this child is, more then likely other students know who this child is..now they know the details? Is the victim ever considered in these articles?? So,so wrong!! smdh!

  5. wildcrafter says:

    awesome, this is my son’s bus driver! yikes!

  6. mspennimv says:

    I have recently checked the sex offender registry and there is one offender registered in Edgartown and none in the other towns on mv.. I wonder why this is when we all know there are unfortunately far more on the island.. I feel for this girl and her family.. hopefully they can get through this with as little “extra” trauma as possible!

    1. LocalOpine says:

      Only level 3 sex offenders are published.
      Level three is the highest level of registration and those considered most likely to re-offend.

      1. Ouch Man says:

        This is the problem. Level 3 crimes are pled down by our judicial system which has no regard for our children.

        1. mspennimv says:

          it really is too bad..

      2. mspennimv says:

        I guess I didn’t know that.. it’s to bad really..

    2. mngh2938 says:

      I know I had the police come to my door as a young girl to notify us of a sex offender living in close proximity to us in West Tisbury….the information is there

  7. man about town says:

    These deviant people need to be removed from society forever. Send them all somewhere and they can prey on each other. We as a society are far too lenient with this behaviour. Doling out pathetically weak sentences then releasing them back into society to find some more innocent victims. Makes me sick. There is no rehabilitating them.