NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Indiana State Police detectives are trying to determine how long a camera that was discovered by a student had been inside a locker in the boys’ gym room at a New Albany middle school.
Prosecutors allege former Scribner Middle School Vice Principal Paul Raake is responsible for placing the camera and obtaining still images from it.
Raake entered a not guilty plea to a felony voyeurism charge in Floyd County Court Wednesday afternoon.
The investigation, court records show, was launched in November 2016 when a student told his mother he found the camera. The student reported the incident to a gym teacher and Raake, a probable cause affidavit notes.
"Right now, we don't have any idea how long we think the camera had been there," Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said, "Obviously that's something, that, through the continuing investigation, we'll be able to find out."
State police cyber crime investigators took over the case from New Albany Police and searched two school-owned laptops and an iPad -- all of which were assigned to Raake.
On one of the laptops, the affidavit alleges, were thumbnail images including a picture of a male student in the locker room.
"The student's knee/upper leg and partial buttocks were visible," a detective wrote in the affidavit, adding the male student was in the state of dressing or undressing.
Investigators found five pictures of students but stopped short of charging Raake with child pornography.
"We feel like we have all the images that were taken inside the locker room and at this point none of those images rose to the level of child pornography, however, it is totally unacceptable to place a camera in a locker room among other places, but especially a locker room where people dress and undress," Sgt. Goodin said.
Investigators also searched Raake's office and found a hard drive which they said contained the same thumbnail images that were found on the laptop.
"The only adult male visible in the pictures was identified by two separate people [as] Paul Raake," the affidavit read.
Outside the courthouse, Raake, his attorney, and two women were swarmed by reporters with questions asking Raake how he would defend himself against the charge.
Raake did not respond. His attorney, George Gesenhues, would only say his client had no comment.
Sgt. Goodin suggested parents had concerns about sending their children to school.
"What we are telling parents is we understand that you are mad, we understand you are angry this happened, but we still feel like sending your kids to school is the safest place for them to be."
"The safety and security of all of our students and staff is of paramount concern," and emailed statement from the New Albany Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation read, adding the district "has fully cooperated with law enforcement officials. This matter is now in the hands of the Floyd County Prosecutor’s Office, and the School Corporation will have no further comment at this time.
Raake is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial conference on October 11. His trial date is scheduled for January 8.
i-Team Investigator Derrick Rose can be reached at 502-582-7232 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @WHAS11DRose