United States

Man Accused of Secretly Filming Boys in Boston Latin School's Bathrooms

Investigators say they found computer folders containing videos of Boston Latin High School students in a boys' restroom after executing a search warrant amid an ongoing investigation

A Boston man is facing multiple federal charges after he allegedly secretly filmed boys in the restrooms at Boston Latin School, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Eric Tran Thai, 36, was charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of children. He appeared in federal court Monday afternoon after he was arrested earlier in the day.

The surreptitious videos, believed to have been filmed over the course of 2017, were discovered amid a wider investigation into Thai's activities after he was charged in another case.

Authorities say Thai already faces state charges in Middlesex County Superior Court after he was arrested for surreptitiously filming two different Boston College students while they were using the men's restrooms on the college's campus in February of 2018.

Thai allegedly admitted to investigators that he had been "taking some pictures" of a man in the stall next to him without the man's consent and that he had been doing this for about a year.

Investigators seized dozens of computer hard drives, thumb drives, regular and covert cameras while executing a search warrant at Thai's home on March 1, 2018. They also seized numerous computers, iPads, cell phones and multiple SD and SIM cards, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

When Thai was arrested, police said he had multiple secret recording devices, including fake smoke detectors, a water bottle with a small cube recording device and a pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera.

When investigators were analyzing the seized items, they discovered folders labeled with place locations, including Boston Latin High School, Boston University, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill and various malls, airports and foreign locations.

Investigators said the videos found in the "Boston Latin High School" folder had about 45 secretly-filmed videos of boys in various states of dress while using stalls and urinals at a boys' bathroom. They believe videos were recorded on 10 different days between February and December 2017.

Interim Superintendent Laura Perille released a statement saying she and the school's headmaster were horrified by the allegations.

"Safety is always our top priority, and we strive every day to make sure our students are learning and thriving in safe, welcoming, and supportive schools. These alleged acts represent a major violation to the student victims, along with the entire Boston Latin School community. Our primary concern is to provide any and all support to the victims of this disturbing situation," read the statement from Perille.

Authorities say their investigation is ongoing.

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