CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A fifth grade teacher charged with recording people inside a school bathroom had been employed at a popular Utica restaurant, according to Colonie Police working on the case. They say Sand Creek Middle School teacher Patrick Morgan used a hidden camera disguised as a cellphone charger to record adults, many of them colleagues, while they used a staff bathroom at the school.
Police say there’s no evidence that students were ever recorded. Morgan was placed on administrative leave after being charged with 22 counts of unlawful surveillance.
Police say Morgan would commute an hour and a half from his home in Frankfort, near Utica, New York to his teaching job in Colonie. He has worked for the district for 28 years. But, police say he also worked part-time at Aqua Vino, a popular Utica restaurant.
The manager told NEWS10 that Morgan has not worked there since the start of the pandemic, but had once been employed off and on as a waiter. The manager added that Morgan was a hard worker and there was never any indication of what he stands accused of now.
Colonie Police say they executed a search warrant at Morgan’s home where they say they discovered more digital camera SD cards containing images of who they believe to be the same recorded unknowing victims from the school bathroom.
New York State Police in Utica say are assisting in the investigation and are looking to see if there is any evidence that might show whether or not any other crimes occurred outside the Colonie area.
Clinical Psychologist Dr. Rudy Nydegger told News10’s Anya Tucker that while these kind of cases may seem immature and silly, they can be harmful. “They typically have much more impact on the victim than people think that they would. And so, yes. I tell people to take these things seriously. This is not something to be laughed off. This is something that needs to be dealt with in a way that minimizes the risk to the innocent people,” said Dr. Nydegger.
Morgan remains out of jail as his criminal case moves forward.