Long Island teacher admits to secretly videotaping girls

Long Island teacher admits to secretly videotaping girls

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A Long Island gym teacher has admitted to secretly video-recording girls in a middle school locker room, according to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

According to a plea deal announced Wednesday, Thomas Sheppard, of Speonk is expected to get five years of probation, give up his teacher's license and register as a sex offender, although Spota said he will recommend Sheppard be imprisoned to the maximum 1-1/3 to 4 years at the December 18 sentencing.

"It was clear to us from the beginning the recording of these girls was not inadvertent as the defendant first claimed," Spota said. "His appalling betrayal of these teenagers will also result in the surrender of his teaching license."

Sheppard had been charged with unlawful surveillance, a felony, and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Sheppard's lawyer told Newsday that his client was remorseful and wanted to spare the community further trauma.

The Westhampton Beach school board has accepted his resignation. He had been suspended without pay since the incident came to light in February.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press/WNYW

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