TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A man already in jail after being charged with more than 50 counts of secret peeping and nine counts of indecent liberties stemming from three years of videos taken in Alexander County is now facing more charges.
Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department officers arrested 32-year-old Michael Justin Childers at his home at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 4.
The arrest stems from an ongoing investigation beginning in Dec. 2020 that initiated from Wittenburg Elementary School in Alexander County.
On Dec. 1, 2020, a camera was found in a staff bathroom at Wittenburg Elementary School. The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and arrested Childers with one count of felony secret peeping. Childers was employed as a custodian at Wittenburg Elementary School and Ellendale Elementary School.
On Monday, March 8, officials said Childers was charged with another count each of felony secret peeping, felony possession of secret peeping material and felony indecent liberties with a minor.
Investigators say the new charges come after they found images were taken of a female student inside a classroom with other students during a school function at Ellendale Elementary School. Childers was not employed by Alexander County Schools at the time, but was on campus for a school function.
There is no known physical or sexual contact with the victim, officials say, but investigators have notified school authorities and the parent of the victim.
Deputies say the investigation revealed that a camera was placed in a staff bathroom at Ellendale Elementary School. Investigators originally said there was no evidence that students were recorded, but that changed on March 8 when the new charges were filed.
Taylorsville Police Department originally charged Childers on March 5 with 53 counts of felony secret peeping and nine counts of felony indecent liberties with a minor. Alexander County Sheriff’s Office charged Childers with 55 counts of felony possession of secret peeping material and two counts of felony secret peeping.
Officials say the indecent liberties charges are connected to the alleged secret peeping of minor victims.
The two counts of felony secret peeping that were charged by the Sheriff’s Office stemmed from a video that was taken at a home in Alexander County.
The continued investigation has led to numerous videos being located in Childers’ possession, police say.
Childers is being held at the Alexander County Detention Center under a $1,380,000 secured bond after the recent charges involving the minor being recorded were added.
He has a first appearance date is Monday, March 15, 2021 in Alexander County District Court.
This investigation is continuing by Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department. Officials say any victims will be notified as they are found.
Alexander County Schools is fully cooperating and assisting Alexander County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation.