Elliot Gornall, 32-year-old kindergarten teacher, in Loudonville, Ohio, has been accused of secretly videotaping his kindergarten students.
It gets worse. According to prosecutors, Gornall affixed hidden spy cameras to walls in the bathroom. The Associated Press quoted Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnell:
“The thought that a previously trusted kindergarten teacher would take advantage of young children in this way is horrifying,” Tunnell said in a statement announcing the charges.
Police arrested Gornall on Friday. He will face his first, of many, days in court on Monday. He is being charged with 25 felony counts, one for each child recorded. Out of these, 23 counts are for illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.
Gornall had already been forced to resign before these recent accusations. Last year, he was charged with felony drug possession.
When the police analyzed his personal computer, they found the footage of his kindergartners. They discovered over 63 videos, filmed between August and November of last year.
John Carroll, a school board member whose daughter was one of the victims, talked to The Columbus Dispatch about this sickening violation of privacy:
“The emotions run the gamut. First, it’s anger. Then, you’re upset. And then you just feel betrayed,” Carroll said. “We feel so hurt that our child was violated in this way.”
According to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, there is no evidence that Gornall engaged physically with any of the children. That, and the fact that the children themselves can go on without knowing what happened, is the only good news from this whole debacle:
“The kindergartners are innocent,” Annette Gorrell, principal at R.F. McMullen Elementary School said. “We are hoping that they don’t have to hear about this.”
If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 184 years in prison.