MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. – Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Medford
Eric Howell, 43, of the first block of Dogwood Court in Maple Shade, was charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree), one count of Official Misconduct (Second Degree) and four counts of Invasion of Privacy (Third Degree).
The investigation revealed that Howell concealed a camera in a coconut water box that was then placed in the side portion of his briefcase. He would unscrew the cap of the box in his briefcase, walk in close proximity to female students and carry his bag in a manner that allowed his camera to see up their skirts or loose-fitting shorts.
Howell’s behavior was brought to the attention of the school administration on May 2 by an individual who observed him passing behind a female student and extending his arm sideways in an attempt to position the camera under her skirt.
The school administration contacted police after receiving the information and immediately banned Howell from school property and school events. School officials have been fully cooperative with law enforcement during the investigation.
The charges filed to date against Howell represent offenses against three students, one of whom was targeted on more than one occasion. He was also charged with making an upskirt recording at a convenience store.
The investigation into Howell’s criminal activity is ongoing. A search warrant executed at his residence resulted in the seizure of multiple digital storage devices that are being analyzed by the Prosecutor’s Office High-Tech Crimes Unit.
Howell has been a chemistry teacher at the school since 2016. He was taken into custody today at the Medford Township Police Department and lodged in the Burlington County Jail pending a first appearance in Superior Court tomorrow.
The charges will be presented to a grand jury in the near future for possible indictment. The case will be prosecuted by Burlington County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Eife, the supervisor of the BCPO Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit.
The case was investigated by detectives from Medford Township Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation was led by Medford Police Department Det. Nicole Fellona and BCPO Det. Matthew Delgado of the BCPO Sexual Assault/Child Abuse Unit.