A teacher at an upstate NY middle school was accused of planting a hidden camera in the staff's bathroom. A fifth-grade teacher at Sand Creek Middle School in Colonie, Patrick Morgan, 57, was arrested on around two dozen felony charges, according to WNYT-TV reported.
Morgan was charged with 22 counts of unlawful surveillance in a case the judge termed as 'alarming and disturbing.' He allegedly placed a recording device inside the employee restroom in Sand Creek Middle School in the Albany County town of Colonie.
The hidden camera was discovered Friday after it captured pictures of several staff members. The camera resembled a phone charger in appearance. According to police, the camera was placed at least a couple of days prior to being discovered. "It's too early to tell, but it looks like at least a couple of days, possibly longer," Lt. Dan Belles said.
Mental health concerns
Police noted that Morgan hid a camera in a staff bathroom at the school, which captured videos and images of multiple staff members, both male and female in various stages of undress. Police have no reason to believe that images of students were captured in the hidden camera.
A search was conducted by the police at Morgan's home in Herkimer County. Classes at the Sand Creek Middle School were canceled on Monday out of an abundance of caution. Morgan, who taught in the district for 28 years, pleaded not guilty to the charges of unlawful surveillance against him on Monday afternoon. He was placed on administrative leave.
A judge set him free Monday on supervised release and order him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
In a similar incident, a Georgia elementary school staff member was accused of hiding a camera inside a students' bathroom last month. Justin C Julian was arrested on charges of three counts of felony eavesdropping surveillance and one count of first-degree child cruelty on January 30.