ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A 74-year-old Rochester school bus driver was arrested on charges for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl, federal officials announced Tuesday.
According to prosecutors, Tomas Rosario was charged with possession of child pornography and attempted tampering with a witness via a criminal complaint.
If convicted, the local man faces a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 20.
The complaint states that the Rochester Police Department received a report of sexual assault involving a 13- year-old girl early in March. Officials say an investigation determined the girl was allegedly touched inappropriately by her school bus driver, who was later identified as Rosario.
Investigators were able to recover surveillance video from inside the bus that captured the suspect having inappropriate sexual discussions with the victim on the way to and from school.
Police noted the victim and Rosario were the only two people inside the van during the incident.
Allegedly, the complaint says the man gave the girl his number on a piece of paper and told her to not speak of their interaction because that could give her a “big problem.”
Authorities who secured video footage say that Rosario directed the victim to do something sexually inappropriate during the ride home from school. The minor then reminded the 74-year-old of the camera on board, but officials said he continued to touch the girl several times.
Police say days after this sexual assault occurred, Rosario encountered the victim in a convenience store and again warned her not to tell anyone. The encounter was captured by store security cameras.
On April 13, investigators were able to recover the man’s cellphone which contained images of child pornography. He is due to be processed at federal court on Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
An investigation is underway, and anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (585) 546-2220.
According to Rochester City School District officials, Rosario is not a district employee.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.