Bath police are alleging a school bus driver posted inappropriate photos of school-aged students online.

After a week-long investigation conducted by the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit and Bath Police Department, police charged 50-year-old Timothy McGowan of Bath with the crime of violation of privacy.

McGowan is a bus driver for the Bath Bus Service. In his capacity as a bus driver, investigators believe he took the illegal photos of students while transporting students to and from school, and to and from special events, according to a release from Lt. Robert Savary.

While McGowan was charged, he was not arrested, according to Savary.

On May 23, the Maine State Police were notified by investigators from Homeland Security of a tip alleging a bus driver from Maine was posting “upskirt” photographs of what were believed to be school-aged students on a foreign website. Through subpoena and email traces, the individual identified was a bus driver from the Bath-area, according to Savary.

Maine State Police contacted the Bath Police Department to assist them.

Police say that through the course of the investigation, images of six female students of elementary, middle and high school ages were identified by police, and school staff from RSU1 and West Bath School.

Police say McGowan was interviewed by investigators and several of his electronic devices were searched by the Computer Crimes Unit of the Maine State Police. Images found on his devices were the same as ones uploaded on the foreign website.

On May 30, Bath Police served a criminal summons to Mr. McGowan at his residence in Bath. His court date is scheduled for July 17 at the West Bath District Court in West Bath.

Parents of the students involved were notified by school administrators on May 31, according to police.

McGowan has been placed on leave by the Bath Bus Service and is not currently driving a school bus, police said.

In a press release, Savary wrote: “The Bath Bus Service conducted all the proper background checks on Mr. McGowan prior to his employment as a bus driver. Mr. McGowan had no previous criminal convictions. The Bath Bus Service fully cooperated throughout the investigation.

“Administrators from RSU 1 and West Bath Schools cooperated with investigators as well and were instrumental in identifying the students who were photographed by Mr. McGowan,” he added.

“Police are not releasing the website where investigators initially discovered these images. All the images have been removed from the website.”

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