MAYVILLE - A Randolph man charged with felony sexual abuse of a child pleaded innocent Monday morning in Chautauqua County Court.
Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 real property for John O. Hitchcock, 66, three days after being arrested by Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies. Hitchcock was arraigned in front of County Court Judge John T. Ward.
Officers and child advocacy groups from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties conducted a joint investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of a child last fall.
Police said Hitchcock, who worked as a bus driver for the Randolph Central School District, allegedly sexually abused a male juvenile between Randolph and Ashville. The incidents took place between September and October 2012, police said.
Hitchcock was placed on administrative leave by the school district, the district said a statement Friday. He is charged with seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office was assisted in the investigation by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office, the Cattaraugus County Child Advocacy Center in Olean, the Chautauqua County Child Advocacy Program in Jamestown and the Cattaraugus and Chautauqua county district attorney offices.
A pre-motion conference has been scheduled for Monday, March 25.
Hitchcock is being represented by attorney Brian Attea, of North Boston.
See Tuesday's edition of The Post-Journal for complete coverage.