A Dorchester man faces federal charges of sexual exploitation of children for the 45 videos authorities say they found on his computer that show "male students in various states of dress using the urinals and stalls" in a Boston Latin School boys' room between February and June, 2017.
Eric Tran Thai, 36, could face additional charges for the videos he allegedly made of men in restrooms at Boston College, Boston University, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Community College and a variety of malls and airports, the US Attorney's office reports.
In general, the videos show Thai sitting in a bathroom stall at Boston Latin High School [sic] recording individuals in adjacent stalls or at the urinals through various secret recording methods. In some videos, Thai appears to hold a camera over the top of the partition between the bathroom stalls and videotaping from overhead. In other instances, he appears to hide a small camera inside of his backpack, place the backpack on the bathroom floor and videotape individuals in the adjacent bathroom stall from under the stall’s partition. While recording, it appears that Thai would simultaneously view what the camera was recording on a cellphone or a tablet device in his possession. Based on this evidence, Thai was charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of children in violation of federal law.
An affidavit by an FBI agent in the case details what Thai allegedly saw, but does not say how he managed to get into BLS on at least ten occasions to make the videos.
On March 14, 2018, Boston College Police detectives and members of the Boston Police Department School Police Unit met at the Boston Latin High School, 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, Massachusetts and confirmed that the décor of the various boys’ bathrooms at the school matched what was visible in the videos in the “Boston Latin High School” folder. Investigators swept all bathrooms located in Boston Latin to ensure there were no recording devices present.
Thai was initially arrested last month after two BC students reported somebody had been videoing them in a restroom there.
Thai was placed under arrest on state charges and his bag was subsequently searched; in it, police found several covert camera devices, including faux smoke detectors, a water bottle containing a small cube recording device, and a pair of sunglasses outfitted with a built-in camera.
On March 1, the US Attorney's office says, investigators with a search warrant entered his home and found "26 computer hard drives, 20 thumb drives, 27 covert and regular cameras, 14 computers, iPads, and cell phones, and multiple SD and Sim cards."
If convicted, he faces between 15 to 30 years in prison on each of the five counts related to the BLS videos, officials say.