Gloucester Catholic Custodian John Martin Arrested; Charged with Secretly Videotaping Students and Teachers in the School | cnbnews
UPDATE 9AM NOVEMBER 29
UPDATE 7PM NOVEMBER 28
news release. The statement was issued by the Prosecutors Office and is incorrect. Martin was the head custodian. ~ Gloucester City Police Department
Correction: John Martin is not in charge of the technology department as stated in the
(November 28,2012)GLOUCESTER CITY NJ-Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk and Gloucester City Police Chief George Berglund
reported the arrest of the chief custodian at Gloucester Catholic High School on charges he surreptitiously videotaped students and teachers in the school.
John Martin, M/41, of the first block of S. Jefferson Avenue in Wenonah, was charged with a count of 3rd degree Invasion of Privacy. He turned himself in at the Gloucester City Police Department Wednesday afternoon. He was released on his own recognizance on the condition he not go near the high school or any students or staff. Martin worked as the Chief Custodian and chief of the Information Technology department at the school for 18 years. Martin resigned from his job at the school on November 21 after being interviewed by investigators.
Martin is accused of directing the installation of hidden video cameras throughout the high school that recorded individuals in various stages of undress and activity. The pinhole-size cameras, approximately a quarter of an inch in diameter, were placed in eight separate rooms, including classrooms, the school’s choir room, weight room, backstage area, maintenance facilities and football area, and were hidden in locations such as ventilation ducts and smoke detectors. Students used some of those rooms as changing areas and some of the images show nudity. Martin linked the cameras, which were installed without the school’s knowledge, to the existing video security system at Gloucester Catholic. Martin is accused of possessing hours of video footage and a large cache of pictures which appear to be screen shots taken with his cell phone from the video.
Most of the images and recordings are of females, both students and teachers. The Prosecutor’s Office and school staff are reviewing the video to identify the people in the recordings. Anyone identified either has been or will be contacted by law enforcement.
The investigation determined Martin shared pictures with at least two other people and an investigation into the number of images Martin possessed, how long he was recording people in the school and who the images were distributed to, is ongoing. More charges against Martin and others are possible. The prosecutor’s office has no indication Martin distributed these videos to a wider audience by selling them or making them available through the internet.
A witness who had seen the images informed law enforcement last week. This investigation was an opportunity for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s High Tech Crimes Unit, which began operating in October, to show its value to the office. Investigators used state-of-the-art equipment to access Martin’s phone, where numerous images were stored. They were also able to access the school’s computer system and Martin’s home computers to quickly retrieve evidence. Having a unit dedicated exclusively to accessing and searching electronic data sped the course of this investigation considerably. Prosecutor Faulk also credited the cooperation of Gloucester Catholic staff, who gave law enforcement assistance and extensive access to the school.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.