ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A 74-year-old Rochester school bus driver was arrested on charges of 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 criminal 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 and interactions with the victim on the way to and from school. Prosecutors say the victim and Rosario were the only two people aboard the vehicle during the alleged interaction both to and from school.
“Rosario asked the [minor] if she has a boyfriend and whether or not she would ever ‘lollipop’ a boy or girl,” the prosecutor wrote in the complaint. “Based on my training and experience, I believe that the term ‘lollipop’ refers to performing oral sex.”
The complaint goes on to say Rosario asked if the minor ever watched her parents be intimate and then asked her if she let her past boyfriend grab her “little thing.”
The prosecutor says Rosario indicated to the girl where he lived and said if there was a day when she didn’t want to go to school, she could call him. The complaint said Rosario instructed the victim to not tell anyone about their conversation.
The complaint alleges that the conversation continued and Rosario told the girl that one day they could “take a ride” and he could show the minor his penis. He allegedly told the girl that “ding-a-lings” come in all different sizes. Rosario allegedly then told the girl that people “suck his ‘ding-a-ling” and that “sperm is allowed.” The complaint continues:
“Rosario then suggests the minor victim should masturbate that night and grabs the minor victim’s hand and begins to rub her finger explaining how to masturbate.”
Later that day, according to the complaint, the victim re-entered the vehicle after school and was once again the only person onboard with Rosario, which is when the driver allegedly gave the minor a piece of paper with his phone number on it.
Rosario is then accused of grabbing the minor’s hand and directing her to put one of her fingers inside her vagina and pull it out so he can smell it. At this point, according to the court paperwork, the minor reminded Rosario about the camera inside the vehicle. Then Rosario is accused of asking the victim to take a picture of her vagina when she is home so she could send it to him.
Later during the ride, Rosario is accused of directing the victim to spread her legs open and he “appears to be touching the minor victim’s vagina.” Rosario is accused of performing a similar act seven more times. He’s also accused of asking the victim if she would like to have sex with him.
According to the complaint, Rosario told the minor to not tell anyone what happened because “he would have a big problem.”
The next day Rosario is accused of approaching the victim at a grocery store and telling her not to tell anyone what happened on the bus the day prior. Prosecutors say this encounter was recorded by security cameras located inside the store.
On April 13, investigators were able to recover the man’s cellphone which contained images of child pornography. That same day he agreed to speak with an RPD investigator where he acknowledged requesting the minor send him an image of her vagina to his mobile phone.”
Officials say the investigation remains ongoing, 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.
Officials from Monroe Transportation said Rosario was a former employee. They said they received a complaint regarding him in March when they removed the driver from service and notified local authorities. They say he is no longer an employee and the business is cooperating with authorities.
Rosario is due to be processed at federal court on Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
The complaint (full document below) says that not all details regarding the prosecutor’s inquiry were included, but just enough for the “limited purpose of securing a criminal complaint.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.