Robert Lee Williams Jr., 50, of Coraopolis, is accused of showing multiple teenage students photos of nude women on his cell phone, according to a criminal complaint filed by Detective William Lonkert.
The bus driver will face a preliminary hearing March 19 in Coraopolis District Court on charges including felony unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors and dissemination to minors.
Williams drove bus No. 145 for the district. The bus route covers areas including the Mooncrest neighborhood, where police allege the incidents took place.
School district administrators contacted police Feb. 14 after a 15-year-old student told a UPMC drug and alcohol liaison working in the district that Williams showed lewd cell phone photos to his student passengers, according to police. The student also said he "takes photos of female students as they get off the bus" with a digital camera, police said.
Assistant high school principal Susan Kazmierczak also spoke with a 17-year-old student in the district, who said Williams showed pictures of women in lingerie to 14-year-old and 15-year-old male students in 2012.
A 14-year-old student in the district reported Williams, who claimed to have been employed at a night club, made "gestures of penetration" while looking at female students on the bus.
District administrators gathered multiple accounts of Williams displaying the photos to students aged 14 to 17, using profanity and making obscene gestures on the bus.
In the criminal complaint, Lonkert wrote that police went to Williams' Fourth Avenue home the day after they received the report about him. Williams agreed to talk with police, Lonkert said.
While speaking with officers, Williams said he'd shown male students a photo of his girlfriend with her breasts exposed to "give (the students) something to aspire to," the detective wrote.
"This is what I did last night," Williams told the students, according to police.
Police obtained Williams' phone as evidence. Numerous photos of nude and nearly nude women were saved to the device, according to the complaint.
"It should be noted that Williams showed the assigned officers numerous pictures on his phone, of naked or near-naked adult females," Lonkert wrote in the complaint.
Williams told police he was "joking" about taking pictures of students with his camera.
School district spokeswoman Megan Edwards said Williams is an employee of the Coraopolis-based Student Transportation of America. The district contracts out transportation services with the company.
Edwards said the district requested that Williams be suspended from STA after receiving complaints from students. He is no longer acting as a bus driver in Moon.
"The safety of our students remains a top priority, which is why we acted so quickly," Edwards said.
Moon Police Chief Leo McCarthy said he can recall no other criminal incidents involving bus drivers from STA.
"He admitted it to my officers," McCarthy said of Williams' arrest. "It's really bizarre. I don't know if he felt like he could speak openly with these students. But he is an adult, and he has a responsibility."