JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The former Onslow County Schools teacher charged with secretly recording students, some in various stages of undress, had his first court appearance on Monday.

Stephen Bera, who has resigned as a teacher at New Bridge Middle School in North Carolina after his arrest, is facing multiple counts of secretly recording students and installing a recording device in his classroom. In his first court appearance on Monday, WNCT’s Claire Curry reports Bera was given a court-appointed lawyer and ordered to reappear in court again on May 23.

Stephen Bera (Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

Previously, Jacksonville Police Chief Michael G. Yaniero said Friday there were at least 19 counts issued against Bera for secretly recording children.

However, the investigation is in the early stages, so just how many students were impacted and how long the recordings were done is unclear.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said the next step is to wait for the law enforcement reports on Bera.

“These are Class I felonies, which means that with no prior record, it is a community-based punishment, which means no active sentence,” Lee said.