Man accused of secret peeping, taking picture of child in bathroom at Belmont restaurant

Man accused of peeping at child in restroom

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Gaston County man who was arrested in a child pornography case is accused of "secret peeping" in a Chick-Fil-A restroom in Belmont.

According to Gaston County police, 27-year-old Cameron Shawn Franklin was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of secret peeping.

Officers say Franklin was an employee at the Chick-Fil-A near Exit 27 when the incident occurred.

"There were no cameras hidden in the walls, nothing buried in the bathroom. None of that," Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell said. "The allegations are that a cell phone was used by someone who came into the bathroom."

Police say Franklin went into the men's room, took out his cellphone and recorded what investigators describe as a short video of a boy at the urinal in the bathroom.

Sources tell WBTV that Franklin turned the video into a snapshot.

"There's always a public concern when you have someone charged with this type of crime even though he's presumed innocent" D.A Bell said. "The public is going to hear about it and they're going to be concerned about the children."

A spokesperson with the Chick-Fil-A in Belmont released this statement Wednesday:

"We are aware of the allegations, and the team member is no longer employed at our restaurant. Any further questions will need to be addressed by local law enforcement." 

Police initially began investigating Franklin after they received an internet cyber tip that led to the investigation.

The Assistant District Attorney handling the case told the Judge that  police "did go to Mr Franklin's home. In searching his computer, they did find a photograph taken by the defendant's cell phone."

Franklin was arrested and booked in the Gaston County Jail with a $150,000 bond.

Despite prosecutors' request for a higher bond,  the Judge kept the bond at the same amount with conditions.

If Franklin posts bond, the Judge told him he is not to have any contact with minors and not use any electronic devices with internet connection.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.

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