A former Bangor teacher accused of secretly filming up women’s skirts pleaded not guilty last month to 10 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy, according to court documents.
Benjamin Emmott, 30, entered the not guilty plea on March 22 through his lawyer, Portland-based attorney Jonathan Goodman. It was filed in Bangor district court on April 11. Emmott was initially charged on March 9 with seven counts of violation of privacy, but three have since been added as the police continue to investigate him.
Emmott violated the privacy of at least six women on 10 occasions when he used a camera to film under their clothing without their knowledge in locations around Bangor, according to police and court documents. His attorney said the plea is a procedural step and not necessarily a denial of the allegations.
“It’s my standard practice to enter an not guilty plea at the arraignment and then spend time evaluating the case to work toward the best resolution,” Goodman said, declining to comment any further on the case.
When police started investigating him on Feb. 16, Emmott was a special education teacher at the Bangor Regional Program, but Bangor Superintendent Betsy Webb and police said they have no reason to believe he ever filmed students. Emmott, of Winterport, resigned from his teaching job on Feb. 23, the week school officials learned he was under investigation. Students were on vacation that week.
Police have declined to say exactly where or how Emmott allegedly recorded the women. The violations for which he’s been charged took place in Bangor between July 2015 and July 2017, according to court documents.
It is not illegal to photograph or video people in public, but it is a crime in Maine to capture an image of a portion of a person’s body that is “concealed from public view under clothing and a reasonable person would expect it to be safe from surveillance,” according to the statute under which Emmott is charged. Private places include changing rooms and public bathrooms, the law states.
Emmott has not responded to attempts to reach him for comment.
His next court appearance is set for June 6. If convicted, he faces up to 1 year in jail.
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