Raleigh educator accused of taking ‘upskirt images’ of student on campus

Wake County News
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh man who was, until recently, employed at St. David’s School, is accused of peeping on a teen student and taking photographs of her, according to an arrest warrant.

Todd Aberts, 37, is charged with felony secret peeping and felony possession of a photographic image from secret peeping. He was arrested on Wednesday.

Aberts’ Facebook page says he is “Fine Arts Technical Director” at St. David’s School, an Episcopal prep school in Raleigh. Arrest records also list his employer as St. David’s School. School administrators told CBS 17 that Aberts is no longer employed at the school.

According to an arrest warrant, Aberts “secretly…use[d] a device to create two photographic images of another…underneath her clothing for the purpose of viewing her body or undergarments and without her consent.”

Raleigh police confirmed that Aberts took “upskirt images” of an 18-year-old student while on campus. Police also said that investigators were tipped off by school officials who contacted them regarding Aberts.

“Without getting too much into the facts, my very quick review is that these charges may be overblown,” said Seth Blum, an attorney for Aberts. When asked by CBS17, he declined to explain what he meant by that. “We’re looking forward to the facts coming out. I hope that when people get the whole story, they’ll see this is not what it appears to be right now.”

His wife attended the hearing Thursday.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Kristin Peebles said Aberts confessed to what happened.

“He also confessed to this, that he made a terrible mistake,” she said. “There was a witness to this who reported they saw this defendant take a photograph of this victim with his cellphone.” 

Following a court hearing Thursday, if Aberts makes bond he will not be allowed to return to St. David’s School or have contact with the victim. He is also not allowed to have unsupervised contact with anyone under 18, with the exception of the child he and his pregnant wife are expecting in a matter of weeks.

Aberts is being held in the Wake County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.

St. David’s School confirmed that Aberts had been an employee at the school and provided CBS 17 with the following statement:

“We are aware that a support staff member was arrested off campus yesterday evening following an investigation by the Raleigh Police. Yesterday afternoon we learned a staff member may have inappropriately photographed a fully-clothed upper school student. The School immediately turned the matter over to the police for investigation. The staff member arrested is no longer employed by St. David’s. We are grateful for the vigilance of our community members and for the responsiveness and partnership we share with the Raleigh Police. The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority.”

The school’s headmaster Jonathan Yonan also sent the following to families of students at the school:

There are moments in the life of a school community when you are reminded of how powerful a force for good the partnership among our students, families, and school can be. Unfortunately, it is often in times of difficulty that the power of our partnership is most clear. I’m writing to make you aware of some very troubling news affecting our school community.

Yesterday evening, a member of our support staff, who assists with the technical side of school events, was arrested off-campus by the Raleigh Police Department and charged for inappropriately photographing a fully-clothed upper school student with a mobile phone.

After this conduct was reported, the school immediately contacted the police and the family of the student involved. The school followed the guidance of the Raleigh Police Department and this individual is no longer employed by St. David’s.

All appropriate actions are being taken. It is a standard school policy that employees are subjected to a thorough criminal background check prior to employment. Because of our longstanding partnership with the Raleigh Police Department, our school was able to respond effectively and promptly. 

We hold the safety of our students as our highest priority. We lean firmly on the truth that God identifies and cares for all those who are afflicted, and we invite you to join us in praying at this time for all parties involved. Let us draw closer together as we move through the days ahead.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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