Three Madison County boys arrested for recording girls changing at pool parties
Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:21:56 GMT —
We have an update to a story CNY Central was first to bring to you last week.
Three Madison County teenage boys have been arrested after police say they recorded teenage girls changing their clothes at a pool party over the summer. State Police announced Tuesday that two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old have been arrested on charges of felony unlawful surveillance and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
State Police describe unlawful surveillance as "A person is guilty of unlawful surveillance in the second degree when for no legitimate purpose, he or she intentionally uses or installs, or permits the utilization or installation of an imaging device to surreptitiously view, broadcast or record a person in a bedroom, changing room, fitting room, restroom, toilet, bathroom, washroom, shower or any room assigned to guests or patrons in a motel, hotel or inn, without such person's knowledge or consent."
Troopers say the arrests come after an investigation into allegations that the three teens videotaped seven girls changing into bathing suits at two separate locations in Sullivan and Cazenovia between July 21 and August 31, 2013. A parent told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon on Friday that one of the girls found out about the recordings and notified her parent, who then told police.
All of the teens involved are students in the Chittenango School District. In an email statement last Friday, Superintendent Michael Schiedo said "The District has fully cooperated with local law enforcement in the investigation of this issue. The District was unable to conduct its own investigation while the criminal investigation was in its early stages. Upon gathering enough information during the first week of which we were informed, the district handled the situation appropriately through our Athletic Code of Conduct."
Scheido added "...I assure the community that the District takes these allegations very seriously and will deal with them in a manner that is consistent with our Code of Conduct."
State Police say the names of the 15-year-olds will not be released due to their ages, and the 16-year-old is expected to be treated as a juvenile offender. All three were issued tickets and will appear in Madison County Family Court at a later date.
Meanwhile, a group of parents will be meeting with Chittenango School administrators and members of the school board at tonight's meeting at Bolivar Road Elementary School. Superintendent Schiedo told CNY Central that the meeting will take place in executive session because of the confidentiality of student records.
The parents are upset that they were not directly notified by school administrators when the rumors of the videotaping first surfaced. They also want to know what disciplinary action has been taken against the teen boys. In addition, parents question whether staff members were obligated to notify authorities as "mandated reporters" because the incident involves an allegation of sexual abuse against minors.
Schiedo says, "I feel we have handled it appropriately." but he could not disclose what disciplinary actions the district might have taken. When asked if school employees may have violated the mandated reporter law, Schiedo said, "I don't feel it rises to the level of mandated reporting because they heard about it 3rd or 4th party."