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June 26, 2018

Penn State employee accused of videotaping high schooler in the bathroom at prom

The food-services worker, no longer employed by the university, had allegedly recorded 22 individuals

An employee at Penn State University has been charged with 76 counts of invasion of privacy after allegedly videotaping a high school prom attendee in a bathroom, according to a police affidavit.

The student, a guest at the State College Area School District event on May 12, reported that Charles Chamberlin Jr., 54, led him to a secluded restroom at the Bryce Jordan Center and followed him into the stall directly to his right, the Centre Daily Times reported. 

The student told police he heard the sound of a phone beginning to record video and saw the camera pointed at him through an opening between the bathroom stall and the wall.

The incident sparked a police and school-district investigation that found Chamberlin had taken 37 videos of 22 individuals inside bathrooms on his iPhone, according to the Centre Daily Times.

Penn State spokesperson Lisa Powers confirmed that Chamberlin, who was a full-time food-services worker, is no longer employed by the university.

"We find the allegations deeply disturbing," Powers wrote in an email. "The safety of our students, faculty, staff and others visiting our community is a priority and Penn State follows a comprehensive set of policies to investigate these issues. 

"The University moves swiftly to investigate reports of wrongdoing when they are received, as we did in this case. ... Penn State is committed to the well-being of our community and has strong protocols and training in place, which are under continuous review."

SCASD Superintendent Bob O’Donnell told the Centre Daily Times that the district is currently working with local law enforcement to "strengthen security at future district events."

He also noted that there was a State College police officer, a member of the school's security staff and multiple chaperones present at prom.

“Despite our diligent efforts to protect students at this event ... we’re saddened that something this troubling has been reported,” O’Donnell said. “Because the safety of students is paramount, we continue to work with local law enforcement agencies to strengthen security at future district events. As always, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure the well-being of students in our care.”

Chamberlin's preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 25, according to an affidavit.