School bus driver pleads guilty to rape charges


Monday, Elizabeth Deanelle Vanderhoof, 30, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree rape and single charges of third-degree sodomy and first-degree online sexual corruption of a child. Vanderhoof’s plea came just days ahead of her scheduled trial, which was set to begin Tuesday, Nov. 19, in Lane County Circuit Court.

As The Sentinel reported last June, Cottage Grove Police arrested Vanderhoof June 6 on allegations of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old male. The minor had been listed as a runaway the previous day and, after investigating several leads, police found that Vanderhoof had been assisting the 14-year-old male.

The identity of the 14-year-old was not released. However, he was later returned home safely to family.

Vanderhoof was initially charged with multiple offenses, including: Five counts of rape in the third degree; First Degree Online Sexual Corruption of a Child; Reckless Endangerment of Another Person; First Degree Custodial Interference; Firearm Transfers by Unlicensed Person; Sexual Misconduct and Coercion.

Vanderhoof was sentenced today and received 40 months in prison, 3 years probation and must register as a sex offender upon completion of her sentence.

The additional charges against Vanderhoof were dismissed as part of the plea deal with Lane County prosecutors.

Following Vanderhoof’s arrest last June, the school district issued a statement confirming that the then 29-year-old had been hired as a substitute bus driver for the district and that the district was “cooperating fully with authorities.”

The most serious charge Vanderhoof faced was Online Sexual Corruption of a child, which is a class B felony carrying as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the remaining charges are considered class C felonies, which could have meant a five-year prison sentence each, along with a $125,000 fine per charge.

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