ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - A University City man is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl at a north St. Louis motel. Mark Bush was charged with statutory sodomy, statutory rape, child molestation and providing alcohol to a minor. Court documents indicate Bush lured the girl into his car by falsely telling her he was a firefighter. He’s accused of giving the girl alcohol and taking her to a hotel on Natural Bridge Road.
“I’m just surprised. We all are because he’s been a good neighbor,” said Will Young, Bush’s next door neighbor.
The St. Louis Fire Department confirms Bush attempted to become a firefighter but was removed from an initial hiring process because of what the department called, “Egregious personal, character and background issues.”
The department issued the following statement, "It’s important to note that this individual was never a firefighter and is in no way affiliated with our organization.”
A family member at Bush’s home on the Chamberlain Avenue. was unaware of the charges. She said she had not seen Bush for some time.
“It’s just shocking, because he’s like an everyday next door neighbor,” said Young.
As of Wednesday, Bush had not been taken into custody. Court documents allege the charges stem from a 2013 incident.