VERNON, N.J. — Kimberly Moumblow, a school bus driver for Vernon Township School District, has pleaded guilty to cruelty and neglect of a child for leaving two special-needs students alone on a parked bus in July, the Star-Ledger reports.

Moumblow left the boys, ages 7 and 9, on the bus for about 45 minutes, according to the newspaper. Police told the Star-Ledger that the bus was not running, and the doors and windows were closed. Additionally, Moumblow, in custody of the boys, skipped their stops, failed to inspect the school bus and left them unattended, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office told the newspaper.

The district, which has since fired the bus company, Macnova, was unable to contact the driver or the company’s owner after parents called the district to find out why their children had not come home after the school day ended at 1 p.m. The driver told authorities the bus had run into an emergency, but the bus was running, and the children were safe, Charles Maranzano, the district's superintendent, said at the time. However, once the children were home, their parents found them overheated and distressed, according to the newspaper.

Sentencing is anticipated for Jan. 16, the prosecutor's office told the newspaper. As a fourth-degree crime, cruelty and neglect of a child carries a potential penalty of up to 18 months in jail, though there is a presumption of a non-custodial sentence, the Star-Ledger reports.

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