A male student has been expelled and will face criminal charges after a hidden camera was found in the boys’ locker room at Newport High School earlier this month.
The Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office is investigating and is seeking search warrants for the camera and other electronic devices belonging to the suspect, said Sheriff Alan Botzheim.
“It’s an active investigation,” he said.
The discovery of the camera was first reported by the Newport Miner newspaper.
The camera, which was disguised as a towel hook and placed on the wall, was found by students during a physical education class on Feb. 11, said Newport School District Superintendent Dave Smith.
“They noticed a little hole in it,” he said. “They took it off the wall and discovered it was a recording device.”
The students took the camera to administrators, who immediately turned it over to the Sheriff’s Office, Smith said. Students said they believed the camera had been there for about a week.
School district employees searched every bathroom and locker room in the district for additional cameras but found nothing, he said. A letter was sent home to parents the next day.
A number of students were interviewed as part of the investigation and were very helpful, Smith said.
“They came forward with anything they thought was out of the ordinary,” he said.
The suspect could face charges of voyeurism and possession of child pornography depending on what is on the device, Botzheim said. It had a USB card inside and a manual on/off switch.
“It really depends on where the investigation takes us,” he said.
The device will be examined by forensic experts before a charging decision is made, Botzheim said.
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