BELLINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - A Bellingham teacher who was placed on administrative leave last week for allegedly recording a student in a faculty bathroom is facing criminal charges after investigators say he devised an “elaborate” plan to obtain nude photos of the victim.
Scott McDonald, 38, will be arraigned next week in Milford District Court on charges including photographing sexual intimate parts of child and posing a child in a sexual act-pose/exhibit, officials said.
McDonald, a longtime teacher and baseball coach, was immediately removed from Bellingham Memorial Middle School after a complaint received on Nov. 9 stated that a male student had been recorded, according to Superintendent Peter Marano.
The 14-year-old student tipped off school officials after spotting a camera planted in a box on a locker, prompting an investigation, police said.
When investigators began looking into the claim, they found the box and McDonald’s iPhone, both of which matched the student’s description, according to court documents.
Authorities allege that McDonald would ask the student to retrieve binders from his car, and in exchange, he would let the boy use the faculty bathroom, which he described as “cleaner” than other restrooms.
On multiple occasions, the student opened the box and found recordings of himself on McDonald’s iPhone, the documents said.
Authorities seized the phone and found several “suspicious videos” stored in a Google photos app, according to investigators. One image that was recovered allegedly showed the boy in the faculty bathroom with his genitals exposed.
An arrest warrant was issued for McDonald after investigators concluded that he used “an elaborate plan to entice, coerce and encourage (the boy) into using the faculty bathroom for the purpose of secretly recording him using the bathroom to obtain nude pictures.”
McDonald was later found sitting in his car in a parking lot in Blackstone with a letter that said he could “no longer live with the demons that exist in his head,” according to police. He was then taken into custody.
McDonald has since posted bail. He is due in court on Monday morning.
Bellingham Public Schools released a lengthy statement on McDonald’s arrest, which read in part, “As an educator and a parent I am absolutely appalled anytime a teacher violates the awesome trust and responsibility given to teachers by the parents of the children placed in our care on a daily basis. We will not tolerate any behavior by any member of the staff or faculty of our school district that violates that trust.”
Parent Doreen Salvado said, “I thought he was great. Very popular. He was a cool teacher. He was a coach. (Now, I think) the opposite.”
(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)