Ex-janitor sentenced for filming students in school bathroom

An ex-janitor at a Florida high school has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for filming a dozen students in a girls’ bathroom, federal prosecutors said.

Derremy Jerrell Walker — a former contracted custodian at Oviedo High School — was found guilty in June after two 15-year-old girls found an “actively recording cellphone” hidden beneath a sink in a student bathroom stall in November 2019, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said Wednesday.

“Mr. Walker did more than just produce horror, he stole the innocence and trust of these young victims,” FBI Tampa Special Agent in Charge Michael McPherson said.

The girls snatched the phone and took the device to school administrators, who alerted Oviedo police. Walker was later arrested in February 2020, and immediately trespassed from the school while being relieved of his duties, WFLA reported.

Cops at the time said the revolting footage also showed Walker “propping” the phone up under a sink in a stall designed for people with disabilities.

Prosecutors said an analysis of the cellphone found that Walker, 31, of Sanford, had hidden the device in the same location on two occasions earlier in November 2019, creating a one-hour video of students in the stall.

Oviedo High School.
Derremy Walker was working as a contracted custodian at Oviedo High School at the time of the crime.
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The cellphone had been recording for about 15 minutes before the girls found it. In all three instances, Walker positioned the device’s camera to capture the genitalia of anyone using the restroom, prosecutors said.

Investigators ultimately identified eight of the 12 students who were unwittingly recorded while in the stall. Walker had also set up a hidden cellphone camera in a faculty bathroom earlier that month.

In addition to 60 years in federal prison, a judge ordered Walker to serve a lifetime of supervised release and to register as a sex offender after completing his sentence. A federal jury found him guilty in June of two counts of using or attempting to use children to produce sexually explicit videos, authorities said.

“We are pleased with the sentence handed down in this case and will continue efforts to protect the children in our communities from sexual exploitation and abuse,” McPherson said.

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Stayton woman sentenced to 5 years after toddler dies in house fire

SALEM — A Stayton woman was sentenced to five years in prison after her toddler died in a house fire.

Jessica Marie Pearce, 27, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide by Judge Tracy Prall Sept. 17, the Statesman Journal reported. Pearce had entered a no-contest plea. Child neglect and criminal mistreatment charges were dismissed, court records show.

Pearce was away from home on Feb. 1, 2019, when firefighters responded to a house fire and found the body of 2-year-old Christopher James Pearce.

Pearce and her son had been living with roommates. She said she was running errands and left Christopher at home with a friend in addition to two other adults and a 12-year-old girl. She said without her knowledge, Bender left the toddler with the older child.

Pearce upon returning home, found it on fire and went into the house “hysterically” to find her son, court documents said. Firefighters later found the toddler.

Investigators say they found the fire originated in the bedroom where the child was found. Investigators found cinderblocks with a cast iron pan on top and several propane and/or butane canisters, according to the Office of the Marion County Public Defender.

The state fire marshal said the cause of the fire was “undetermined” because there were “multiple ignition sources” such as heating, smoking, and open flame, the statement said.

Defense attorney Sara Foroshani said Pearce was cooperative with searches and interviews.

It was found that Pearce and a roommate “used the butane to melt circuit boards from various electronics to extract precious metals,” statements show.

In the interview, Pearce said she figured it was “an honest way to make money, but that did not turn out.”

–The Associated Press

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Janesville man sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting 9-year-old boy in bathroom behind school

JANESVILLE, Wis. — A 20-year-old Janesville man found guilty of sexually assaulting a boy was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Dakota Potts was sentenced to six years in prison but will receive 637 days of sentence credit, meaning he has about four years and three months to serve in prison.

Potts was sentenced to nine years of extended supervision in Rock County Court. He was convicted of second-degree sexual assault for assaulting a 9-year-old boy in a bathroom near the football stadium at Wilson School Park in 2018.

Potts will be on the sex offender registry for life.

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