Former Rochester school bus driver charged with possessing child pornography

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — A former Rochester school bus driver was charged with receiving and possessing child pornography, as well as attempted tampering with a witness, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York said Tuesday.

Rochester Police began investigating after a report on March 11 that a 13-year-old was inappropriately touched by her school bus driver, 74-year-old Tomas Rosario.

Surveillance video from the bus showed Rosario having inappropriate sexual discussions with the minor victim on the way to and from school, driving the minor past his house and telling her that if there comes a day when she does not want to go to school, he could provide her with his phone number so that she could call him, then giving her his number and telling her not to tell anyone about their conversation, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors say it then escalated to the point that Rosario told the girl to do something sexually inappropriate, the girl reminded him about the camera inside the vehicle, then, prosecutors say he touched the girl inappropriately then told her not to tell anyone because he could have a big problem.

A few days later, prosecutors say, he ran into the victim in a convenience store and again warned her not to tell anyone. That encounter was captured on the store’s security cameras.

On Wednesday, April 13, RPD obtained a warrant to search Rosario’s cell phone, during which investigators say they recovered images of child pornography.

His initial court appearance was on Friday. Prosecutors motioned to have Rosario detained because they believed he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. He was remanded into custody.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Monroe Transportation confirms Rosario is a former employee and sent News10NBC the following statement:

"Thank you for reaching out. We can confirm that the individual named was a former employee of Monroe Transportation.

"After we received a complaint regarding the former driver in March, we notified local authorities and immediately removed the driver from service. The driver is no longer our employee, and we are cooperating fully with authorities.

"We cannot comment further due to this case still being under investigation."