A former Bath school bus driver accused of posting inappropriate photos of students online is in jail.

Timothy McGowan, 52, was arrested in Texas earlier this month after he failed to show up for court and is being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

McGowan was charged in May 2018 with violation of privacy, a misdemeanor, for allegedly taking “upskirt” photos of students on the bus. The crime is punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine. He pleaded not guilty in June 2018.

Timothy McGowan

In addition, a Sagadahoc County Grand Jury indicted McGowan in December on one count of possession of sexually explicit material, a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. According to Sagadahoc County Assistant District Attorney A.J. Chalifour, this charge concerns possession of child pornography.

McGowan didn’t make a scheduled appearance at West Bath District Court in late June. The court issued an arrest warrant for McGowan, which listed his address as Lindale, Texas.

McGowan’s bail was set at $1,500 cash, and Chalifour said it carries the conditions that he not have contact with children under the age of 16 and can’t possess any sexually explicit material. He was still being held Monday evening. He is scheduled to appear in West Bath District Court on Sept. 4.

McGowan’s attorney, Joshua Klein-Golden, didn’t return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday. However, last month Klein-Golden told The Times Record that McGowan didn’t have enough money to return to Maine after the arrest warrant was issued.

“He’s still trying to come back and take care of this,” he said at the time.

According to the December 2018 indictment, McGowan had an image or material depicting someone under the age of 12 years old engaged in sexual conduct, leading to the charge of possession of sexually explicit materials. It was not clear from court filings whether the children in the images were from the Bath area.

Maine State Police were tipped off earlier that month by Homeland Security, which claimed that a Maine bus driver was uploading photos of students to a foreign website. A week-long investigation by the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit and Bath Police Department led to McGowan.

Police said last year that through the course of the investigation, they identified images of six area female students of elementary, middle and high school ages.

Bill Reed, president of Bath Bus Service, said Monday the company immediately fired McGowan. A background check came up clean before he was hired, Reed said.

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