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Intern at Weston's Gifford School arrested for hiding phone camera in school bathroom

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  December 19, 2013 03:55 PM

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A 24-year-old college intern working at The Gifford School in Weston was arrested this week for hiding a cell phone camera in a school bathroom, according to authorities.

Cambridge resident Stephano Stravoravdis was arraigned in Waltham District Court Monday on one count of setting up secret video, photo, or electronic surveillance of partial nudity, Weston police said.

Stravoravdis was arrested Monday morning after a school staff member found his cell phone hidden inside a paper bag with a hole in it in a bathroom around 10:15 a.m., according to Stravoravdis worked at Gifford as part of his graduate studies at a Boston-area college, but authorities and police declined to specify which one.

Police and school officials said no students were filmed, but neither gave any further details on who or what may have been caught on camera.

Michael Bassichis, the school’s principal, said the cell phone was found in a bathroom used mainly by teachers and staff. He said the door is always locked, and students need a staff member to let them in to use it.

“The bathroom is near the offices and is used almost exclusively by adults,” Bassichis said over the phone Thursday.

Police used surveillance video from a camera near the bathroom to determine who went into the bathroom that morning, Bassichis said. He said police told him no students were on the video.

Bassichis said he did not think Stravoravdis, who had been working with the school since the beginning of the semester, had hidden a camera any other times.

“We believe this is an isolated incident,” he said. “We don’t have proof that he has done it at any other times. We don’t believe it was ongoing, nor do the police.”

Weston police said in a statement they believe the incident was isolated. Police representatives did not comment any further on the case, citing an ongoing investigation.

Officials from the school sent letters home to parents this week notifying them of the situation, Bassichis said. The school is a private nonprofit for students aged 8 through 20 with behavioral or learning difficulties.

“We didn’t miss a heartbeat calling authorities, and [Stravoravdis] went willingly from the school to the police station,” Bassichis said.

Stravoravdis is on indefinite administrative leave from the school, he said.

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