ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A 74-year-old Rochester school bus driver was arrested and charged with 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, Rosario faces a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum of 20. According to Rochester City School District officials, Rosario is not a district employee.
The complaint states that police received a report of sexual assault involving a 13- year-old girl early in March. Officials said an investigation determined the girl was allegedly touched inappropriately by her school bus driver, later identified as Rosario.
Investigators recovered 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 said that the victim and Rosario were the only two people in the van during the incident.
The complaint alleges that 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 reminded the 74-year-old of the camera on board, but officials said he continued to touch the girl several times.
Police said that days after this sexual assault, Rosario encountered the victim in a convenience store and again warned her not to tell anyone. That encounter was also captured by security cameras. Finally, on April 13, investigators recovered Rosiario’s cellphone which contained images of child pornography.
Rosario 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.