ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) — A former teacher in northeast Ohio was sentenced Monday to 56 years in prison on charges related to allegations that he used a spy camera to record his kindergarten students using a bathroom next to their classroom.
Elliot Gornall, 33, pleaded no contest Oct. 29 to 181 criminal counts and announced his intention to appeal a judge’s ruling that said images found on Gornall’s computer could be used as evidence against him. Gornall argued that the images were obtained in an illegal search of his home during a drug raid. Most of the charges involved the use of minors in nudity oriented material or performance and pandering obscenity. Gornall must register as a sex offender after his release from prison.
Authorities accused Gornall of using a tiny spy camera to record 25 of his students at a school in Loudonville, about 80 miles south of Cleveland. The images were recorded between August and November 2014. Investigators said there was no indication that any students were physically abused or touched inappropriately.
Gornall began teaching in Loudonville in 2011. The first videos and images were found on Gornall’s computer after it was seized during a drug-related search of his home in November 2014. Gornall was indicted on drug possession charges, as well as receiving stolen property after investigators found 13 pairs of children’s underwear in the home.
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Telephone messages left with Gornall’s attorney weren’t immediately returned Monday.