Merced police detectives on Wednesday said there was zero evidence a Weaver Middle School filmed students in a locker room last month.
Middle school students accused a veteran teacher of filming them changing their clothing Sept. 21.
Merced Police Capt. Chris Goodwin said detectives interviewed the teacher in question. He said the teacher was “cooperative” and detectives found no evidence of any wrongdoing.
The teacher “let us search the cellphone and there was no evidence on it,” Goodwin said. “Our investigation is closed now.”
The teacher, whose name will not be disclosed because no criminal evidence was found, remained on paid administrative leave Wednesday, District Superintendent John Curry confirmed to the Sun-Star.
Curry said school officials on Wednesday still were “wrapping up” their internal investigation in the incident in question, but said the conclusion from the Police Department “confirmed” what district officials also found.
“I hope this does assure the community that their children are safe,” Curry said in a telephone interview.
Curry said school authorities “are still discussing things” regarding the incident but said he could not elaborate.
The superintendent previous said the teacher was placed on leave over “questions of unprofessionalism” in connection with the same allegations.
“If a cellphone was taken out in a situation like that or in a place like that, we have questions regarding professionalism or inappropriate behavior by an adult that we have an obligation to investigate,” Curry said last month. “If employees do something that’s unprofessional we want to address that. But we found nothing criminal in our initial investigation.”
Allegations surfaced just before noon on Sept. 21. District officials said they “immediately” began their own investigation and the teacher was placed on leave. District officials also notified Child Protective Services that same day, Merced police have confirmed.
However, district officials did not contact Merced police until the following week after questioning from the Merced Sun-Star. Police said because they received the report days after the teacher no longer was on campus, they were unable to interview the teacher immediately.
Goodwin on Wednesday confirmed detectives were able to interview the teacher later, who allowed them to examine the cellphone.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482