Minnesota basketball coach charged with spying on athletes in showers

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Bil Browning

A former basketball coach is facing multiple felony counts after authorities say he was caught filming athletes in the shower using a camera disguised as a pen according to the Mankato Free Press.

Zachary Patrick Roberts was employed at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton High School as the choir teacher for six years before resigning in January. He was charged with four felony counts of interfering with the privacy of a minor and four felony counts of stalking a minor with sexual or aggressive intent.

According to the criminal complaint, an athlete discovered the pen following a game in December when he wanted to write down a play. Teammates tried to access the files saved on the camera, but were unsuccessful. After the players turned the pen over to school officials, it was given to the police for investigation.

Police chief Dave Ulmen says they found “significant evidence” that the former coach had been repeatedly recording athletes. Two of the videos showed teenagers walking in and out of the shower area unclothed. The first shows the pen being placed in position to best capture the shower entrance and the second shows the pen’s discovery. Some of the young men shown in the videos are as young as 14 years old.

Authorities allege that Roberts confessed to recording athletes approximately 50 times in the past and “admitted he would then use the videos for self-sexual gratification,” according to the complaint. The delay in filing charges was reportedly because there was so much evidence to sort through.

Faribault County Attorney Troy Timmerman said Roberts will not be charged with possessing or creating child pornography since none of the minors pictured were engaging in a sexual manner.

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