Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick says Roger Springfield, ex-SU Athletics media director, was arraigned in Onondaga County Court Tuesday morning on four counts of unlawful surveillance for allegedly video recording Syracuse University athletes in menâ??s locker rooms at the Carrier Dome dating back to at least 2002-2003.
Springfield allegedly recorded male athletes on the SU soccer, lacrosse and football teams. Fitzpatrick says they are attempting to identify and notify 108 male victims who appear in the videos. Fitzpatrick says there was a massive amount of video material.
Fitzpatrick says they uncovered 14 total videos, of which only 4 are pertinent to the case. Those four tapes were all recorded at the Carrier Dome. Some of the other recordings appear to be filmed out state at road games in Florida, Massachusetts and Ohio. Fitzpatrick says he will be in contact with authorities from those states.
Some of the recordings also fall outside the statue of limitations. Fitzpatrick estimates that the first recordings were made in 2002 or 2003. The earliest recording included in the indictment was filmed in 2010.
Fitzpatrick says the video was discovered by an SU Athletics employee who was going through footage from the October 27th football game at South Florida. The employee noticed a lengthy locker room segment of the video, which was 14-15 minutes long. After looking at that segment, the employee alerted his or her supervisor. SU Public Safety was alerted to the video on December 8, 2012.
Fitzpatrick says a search warrant was signed on December 11 for Springfieldâ??s home in Fayetteville, office at Manley Field House, and the SU media room. The search warrant was executed on December 12. Springfield was suspended on December 12 and fired on December 13. Fitzpatrick says the case was presented to a grand jury last week. Springfield was indicted on January 10 and arraigned January 15.
Fitzpatrick says Springfield set up the cameras at waist level and used tape to cover the red recording light. Springfield appears on the videos themselves, setting up the cameras.
Fitzpatrick says there is no evidence at this time that anyone else was involved; Springfield appears to have acted alone. He says there is also no evidence that he disseminated the videos of the SU athletes.
"At this point there is no evidence that Mr. Springfield disseminated the images for anyone's use other than his own. There is no evidence or any report, or any allegation of any inappropriate sexual contact," said Fitzpatrick.
Syracuse Police said they were "conducting an investigation that was initiated by a complaint made by Syracuse University." Several University officials confirmed to CNYCentral in December that Springfield no longer works for SU, but they would not say why.
At the news conference on Tuesday, SU's Chief of Public Safety was asked if the University's response showed a change from how things were handled even a few years ago. "The change is that they're involving me quickly," responded Tony Callisto. "So if Athletics or anyone has a particular concern or issue that comes up, they're quickly contacting my office once they've determined they might have a problem."
Syracuse University released the following statement after Springfield's arraignment. "In mid-December, when Athletics Department staff discovered a potentially inappropriate video on a department computer, the University immediately referred this matter to the Syracuse Police Department and Onondaga County District Attorney's office," said Kevin Quinn, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at SU. "Following that referral to law enforcement, Roger Springfieldâ??s employment with the University was terminated. Throughout this time, we have worked cooperatively with both law enforcement agencies as they have investigated and prosecuted this case. The recorded video, taken in a male locker room setting, has been secured by law enforcement and at this point they have indicated there is no evidence that it was shared with anyone or distributed. Our priority has been, and will continue to be, the well-being of our student-athletes. We are in direct contact with all of these specific current and former student-athletes, and the University is reaching out to offer them full access to appropriate support and assistance during this time. We are also appreciative of the hard work and professionalism of the Syracuse Police Department and the Onondaga County District Attorneyâ??s Office in this case.â??
As SU Athletics media director, Springfield put together many of the sports highlights and interviews available on the University's website.
Springfield was a sportscaster for 11 years at WSTM-TV in Syracuse. His legal name is Roger Cahak.
Springfield pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is due back in court next Tuesday.
Read the court document