LOUDONVILLE, OH (WOIO) - A former teacher has been charged with secretly recording students at an elementary school.
Saturday, Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnel announced his office will charge former teacher Elliot Gornall with 25 counts of secretly recording kindergarten students who were using the toilet at R.F. McMullen Elementary School.
The school is part of the Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted Village school district near Mansfield.
Gornall resigned last year following a felony drug possession arrest. He was arrested again Friday following the new charges, which came about after the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation examined his personal computer and found the images.
"While everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the evidence we've uncovered is both disturbing and shocking," Prosecuting Attorney Tunnell said. "Although these children were unaware they were being secretly filmed by a pinpoint spy camera, the thought that a previously trusted kindergarten teacher would take advantage of young children in this way is horrifying."
The pinpoint spy camera, essentially invisible, was hung on a wall clip in the bathroom.
The prosecutor says there is no evidence Gornall shared or uploaded the video. There's also no evidence he touched any of the students inappropriately.
"We love these children as if they were our own and it breaks our heart that someone we all trusted appears to have taken advantage of them in this way," said Annette Gorrell, school principal. "Although we're hopeful that these students won't learn about these troubling facts right now, we know it's possible that they might. That's why Superintendent Miller and I have arranged for counselors to be available in school this coming week to help any student who might need it."