Boston, MA– A 36-year-old Massachusetts man has been charged with sexual exploitation of children for allegedly recording boys with a video camera in the bathroom of a Boston high school, reports CBS Boston.
Federal prosecutors arrested Eric Tran Thai on Monday March 11 after an investigation into his activities revealed that he had targeted multiple bathrooms in the area, including school bathrooms at Boston Latin School, Boston College, and MIT. Boston Latin confirmed that the suspect was a former student at the high school.
Police first began investigating Thai in 2018 after he was alleged to have recorded men in a bathroom at Boston College; he already faces charges on this accusation. A search of his apartment turned up covert cameras, hard drives, and SIM cards. The office of Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling reported that "[d]uring forensic analysis of the recovered items, investigators found several folders labeled: BU, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Boston Latin High School, and several different malls, airports, and foreign country locations."
Officials found that Thai secretly recorded and saved 45 videos from the Boston Latin School that were created between February and December 2017. He has been charged with five counts of child sexual exploitation. For each charge, there is a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, with a minimum of five years and a potential for a lifetime of supervised release. The fine may be as high as $250,000. His sentencing date is not yet known. Thai’s public defender was asked to answer a few questions this past Monday on the case and investigation; he declined to comment.
Boston Superintendent Lara Perille gave a statement: “[Boston Latin] Headmaster [Rachel] Skerritt and I are horrified by the allegations that were brought to our attention by law enforcement. Safety is always our top priority, and we strive every day to make sure our students are learning and thriving in safe, welcoming, and supportive schools."
Parents of students at Boston Latin have expressed their concerns and were invited to meet with school officials last night to learn more about the school's plans to revise safety protocols.