A federal grand jury indicted and charged Rochester City School District bus driver Tomas Rosario, 74, with attempted production and receipt of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and tampering with a witness, victim, or informant.
The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief David Smith, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Child Exploitation Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia. Additional assistance was provided by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
According to a statement released by United States Attorney Trini E. Ross on July 12, 2023, the child, a 13-year-old girl, was allegedly sexually assaulted by Rosario in 2022 in an incident where Rosario is said to have inappropriately touched the child "multiple times,"
Surveillance video captured on cameras installed on the school van shows Rosario having inappropriate sexual discussions with the child in the school bus on the way to and from school. It also shows Rosario directing the child to do something sexually inappropriate, at which time, the child reminds Rosario about the surveillance camera inside the school bus. Rosario and the child are the only occupants in the van, according to investigators' review of the surveillance video.
The video also shows that Rosario drove the child past his [Rosario's] residence and told the child 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; Rosario then gave the child a piece of paper with his phone number written on it.
Charges against Rosario further state that he told the child not to tell anyone about "their conversation." He also reportedly told the child not to tell anyone because “he could have a big problem."
When Rosario saw the child at a local convenience store a day after the sexual assault, he again "warned her" not to tell anyone. This communication between Rosario and the child was captured on the convenience store's surveillance video cameras.
The Rochester Police Department (RPD) obtained a warrant to search Rosario’s cell phone on April 13, 2022. RPD's search of his cell phone revealed a video of child pornography.
Rosario was arraigned on the pending charges in Federal District Court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen, at which time he was held for further court proceedings related to the accusations against him.