A 50-year-old school bus driver for Bath schools was charged this week with a misdemeanor count of violation of privacy for allegedly taking “upskirt” photos of children on his bus.

Timothy McGowan of Bath was issued a summons Wednesday and faces up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine if he is convicted of the crime.

The charge came after a weeklong investigation by the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the Bath Police Department. They were tipped off to the alleged conduct by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which found the photos on a foreign website and believed they depicted school-age children.

Through subpoena and email traces, the person posting the photos was identified as a bus driver in the Bath area. Bath police, assisted by school officials, identified six female students from elementary, middle and high school who were photographed on their way to or from school or who were attending special events.

Police interviewed McGowan and searched his electronic devices, and found the same images that were uploaded onto the foreign website, police said.

McGowan is scheduled to appear July 17 at West Bath District Court.

Parents of the students involved were notified by school administrators Thursday, police said, and McGowan has been placed on leave by the Bath Bus Service and is not currently driving a bus.

Police said the bus service conducted all proper background checks prior to hiring McGowan, who had no criminal convictions.

“We have contacted all the families of the affected students that we know were involved, and the individual ceased to drive a school bus as soon as we were made aware of the allegations,” RSU 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel said in an email to the school community Friday. “While we understand that this news may be unsettling, nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our students.”

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

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Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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