(Lititz, PA-LititzDailyNews.com) — Criminal charges were filed today against a Warwick School District bus driver now relieved of his duties who police say secretly recorded video up the clothing of unsuspecting students and an adult female through the use of a hidden camera aboard his bus.
Don Joseph Saracen, 66, of Lititz, was taken into custody today and charged with one felony count of interception, disclosure or use of wire, electronic or oral communications, five misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy, and one misdemeanor count of possessing instruments of a crime, according to a statement released by the Lititz Borough Police Department.
Lititz police started looking into Saracen’s activities as a driver for a company contracted with the district after receiving a report Tuesday that he allegedly made a secret video recording of an adult female on his bus.
During the investigation, police discovered that Saracen hid a digital camera under the driver’s seat of a school bus with the intent to capture video images of “intimate body parts up dresses, skirts and pants of unsuspecting passengers as they entered and exited the bus,” according to police.
Saracen allegedly enlisted the aid of unsuspecting passengers to push buttons on the dashboard of the bus, which “caused those persons to be standing directly over the concealed camera” which police say was placed under his seat inside a container camouflaged by a rag, police said.
Police confiscated the video camera from Saracen as he exited the bus at the end of his shift on February 28. The video camera was later analyzed by the Lancaster County Computer Forensics Unit. Other electronic devices seized at the home of Saracen will also be analyzed, police said.
According to police, the investigation revealed that four students and an adult female were subject to Saracen’s actions. The affected students were identified and they and their parents were notified of the incident, police said.
Saracen was arrested at his Lititz residence today and taken to appear before Magisterial District Judge Edward Tobin for an immediate preliminary arraignment on the charges, police said. Saracen was jailed at the Lancaster County Prison after he was unable to post $650,000 bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled.
“The board, administration and staff of the Warwick School District are shocked and saddened to learn that charges have been filed against a bus driver formerly employed by one of our bus contractors,” officials said in a statement posted to the district website today that also said the district took immediate action “upon being provided information on this situation, following all appropriate protocols and involving law enforcement.”
The statement says that district staff and officials will not discuss the matter “due to the sensitive nature of these events and the requirements of confidentiality regarding students,” then directs all inquiries to the Lititz police.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Lititz Borough Police Department at (717) 626-6393.
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