Livingston County Sheriff's Office Photograph Ryan T. Fraser

YORK – A former York Central School District employee is facing felony computer crime charges after allegedly accessing co-workers’ cell phone without their permission and was able to access personal information on those phones, reports the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office.

Ryan T. Fraser, 40, of Leicester, was arrested Aug. 18 and charged with four counts of computer trespass, a class E felony.

A person is guilty of computer trespass when he or she knowingly uses, causes to be used, or accesses a computer, computer service, or computer network without authorization and does so with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or further the commission of any felony; or knowingly gains access to computer material, according to state penal law.

The investigation began April 27 when Sheriff’s Investigators responded to York Central School and met with school administration regarding possible criminal activity by a former employee. Investigators were advised that the former employee was the director of the school district’s information technology department.

A conviction of a charge of computer trespass could lead to a maximum sentence of four years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000 or double the defendant’s gain.

The investigation alleged that after separating from employment with the district, Fraser contacted another employee and asked that individual to remove a computer file that was still on the school’s computer server. The employee who was contacted did not comply with the request, and school officials became concerned about the reason for the request, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A forensic computer examination was conducted which revealed that Fraser accessed nearly a dozen cell phones belonging to co-workers. Fraser was able to create a full cell phone backup without the owner’s permissions, and by doing so was able to access personal information that was stored on the devices, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Fraser is alleged to have committed the crimes at various times between 2019 and 2021.

Following his arrest, Fraser was turned over to Central Booking deputies at Livingston County Jail for processing. He was issued appearance tickets as the offenses did not qualify for pre-arraignment detention under the state Justice Reform Act. Fraser was released and will answer the charges at a later date in Town of York Court.

Sheriff’s Investigator Brad Schneider investigated the incident for the Sheriff’s Office.

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