T.C. students allegedly took ‘upskirt’ photos of teachers

By Erich Wagner (File photo)

Alexandria police are investigating four T.C. Williams students accused of taking nonconsensual “upskirt” photos of two teachers in class.

According to search warrant affidavits filed by detectives in Alexandria Circuit Court, a group of students encouraged each other to take photos of female teachers’ buttocks and up their skirts.

According to court documents, on May 12, a student took two photos of his female teacher, one of her buttocks and another up her skirt. He showed them to two other students, who eventually informed T.C. Dean Rene Cadogan.

In a separate incident on May 15, three students — which the Times will refer to as students X, Y and Z — took photos of another teacher. Student X allegedly told police that “several people started telling him, ‘Photo, photo, photo,’ encouraging him to take a photo” of the teacher, according to the affidavit.

Student Y in the class took video from under the teacher’s skirt, but he said it “did not turn out” and deleted it immediately, detectives said. But later, he and Student Z got behind the teacher, who was assisting another student at a desk, at which point Student Y handed his phone to Student Z, who took two photos from under her skirt.

According to Student Y, one was “out of focus” but the other photo showed the teacher’s underwear.

Again, students who witnessed the alleged incident or received text messages with the photos informed Cadogan.

Only one of the four students was named in court documents, and he has been charged in Alexandria General District Court with illegally photographing a non-consenting person, a misdemeanor. He was released under his own recognizance, according to court records.

In 2005, Virginia lawmakers passed legislation prohibiting such photography after a loophole in state law allowed a man accused of using a video camera to look up teenagers’ skirts at a Norfolk mall to evade more than 10 days in jail.

And in March, Massachusetts enacted a similar law just one day after the state’s supreme court ruled that the previous law did not prohibit “upskirt” photos taken in public.

Alexandria City Public Schools officials said in a statement that they cannot comment about the incidents because of the police investigation, but said the district is dedicated to creating a safe environment for students and faculty.

“We take the allegations very seriously and are cooperating fully with the police,” officials wrote. “We will take any necessary disciplinary actions and do all we can to protect our teachers and students in the classroom.”

T.C. sophomore Tayah Sanchez said she was shocked by the allegations.

“I think that’s crazy,” she said. “I never thought somebody would do something like that.”

Police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said the department does not comment on cases involving juveniles.

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