UPDATE: Penn High School releases statement about hidden camera scandal
MISHAWAKA, Ind. – A Penn-Harris-Madison High School janitor has been arrested and may face charges of voyeurism and manufacturing child pornography. This is after a hidden camera was found in the boys locker room connected to the swimming pool at the school.
Robert Troup, 53, was arrested on Thursday after he refused to talk to investigators about the camera. Police secured a search warrant for his home and confiscated his computer as part of their investigation.
The announcement of Troup’s arrest came late Thursday. Earlier in the evening, ABC 57 caught up with the boy’s and girl’s swim teams at an away meet at rival Northridge High School.
Parents at the meet cheered their kids on, but were concerned and angry about the fact the camera had been hidden in the locker room. "I'm pretty pissed off that something like that's happened,” said Larry Hildebrandt, father of a Penn High School swimmer.
Other parents shared Hildebrandt’s feelings on the subject. Shocked, dismayed, disturbed, and violated were just some of the words they used to describe how they were feeling.
When asked how their children were handling the invasion of privacy, parents said their children were upset, angry, and looking for ways to make sure it would never happen again.
Meanwhile, parents remained loyal to the school as they waited patiently for more information to be released. “It's one of those unfortunate things that happens and shouldn't; but I think it's a great school and I'd still send my kids there," said Hildebrandt.
That was before they found out their children could have been spied on by a janitor at the school.
On Friday morning, Penn High School officials released a statement to students and parents:
"We know there are many rumors and questions about the camera that was found in the boys swim locker room at Penn High School. It will take more time to gather all of the facts but here’s what we know so far. Penn students found a camera in the boys swim locker room in January 2011. An adult at Penn High School was told about the camera on Wed. November 30, 2011. Penn administrators made a report the same day to the police. The police took custody of the Secure Digital (SD) card from the camera which contains the electronic images. The electronic images on the SD card led to the arrest of a Penn High School custodian. Penn staff have searched all Penn High School locker rooms and restrooms and determined that no other cameras exist. We are not in possession of the SD card so we do not know what electronic images are on it. We are cooperating fully with the police in the investigation.
Finally, we want the community to know that we are deeply saddened by this breach of trust by one of our staff members. Parents who have questions or concerns can call the superintendent’s administrative assistant at 574-258-9595."
For now, Troup remains in jail with no bond awaiting arraignment.
ABC 57 News will continue following the story and will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.