BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston man is facing federal charges for allegedly recording videos of boys in a bathroom at Boston Latin School.
Eric Tran Thai, 36, has been charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of children. Prosecutors say Thai also allegedly recorded videos in numerous public bathrooms throughout greater Boston.
Boston Latin School said the allegations are “extremely disturbing” and the suspect is a former student.
“Authorities believe a former BLS student gained access to our school at various times, outside of regular school hours, and recorded images of male students inside school bathrooms without their knowledge or consent,” Boston Latin School Headmaster Rachel Skerritt said.
Police began investigating Thai after he allegedly videotaped two men in a Boston College bathroom last year. Thai’s Dorchester apartment was searched and police found dozens of covert cameras, hard drives and SIM cards.
“During forensic analysis of the recovered items, investigators found several folders labeled: BU, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Boston Latin High School, and several different malls, airports, and foreign country locations,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office said.
Authorities say they found 45 videos in the folders labeled “Boston Latin High School” of students using urinals and stalls in a boys’ bathroom at the school. The videos appear to have been created on 10 separate dates between February and December 2017.
The school is already re-examining safety protocols. “We definitely feel that we’ve been compromised,” said Josh Caban, a senior at Boston Latin. “We need to take better precautions going forward.”
Each charge of sexual exploitation of children provides for a mandatory minimum 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. He appeared in Boston Federal Court Monday afternoon and was released on $10,000 bond.
Boston Latin School will meet with parents Tuesday night to discuss the case.
“I suspect there’s a lot more there than people want to know or see,” said Howard Brown, who has two sons at Boston Latin. “He could also be buying and selling these things from what I understand. So it is disturbing to see and I’m not happy about it.”
Thai also faces state charges for the alleged incident at Boston College.