Crime

Boston man sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to secretly recording Boston Latin students in restroom

Eric Tran Thai, 39, also allegedly secretly filmed people in bathrooms at various Boston colleges and universities.

A Boston man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography in January.

Eric Tran Thai, 39, filmed boys in the bathroom at Boston Latin School. An investigation of his home revealed multiple cameras and other equipment, along with digital folders labeled with various local schools, malls, airports, and places outside the country, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts, said in a press release.

Back in February 2018, two different Boston College students reported that they were videotaped while using one of the men’s restrooms on campus, according to the release.

On Feb. 27, the day the second incident was reported, police found Thai on the Boston College campus and arrested him. Authorities searched a bag he had and found fake smoke detectors, a water bottle with a recording device on it, and sunglasses with a camera in them. Thai also reportedly told authorities at the time that he had taken “some pictures” of a man in the stall next to him. Charges stemming from the Boston College incident are pending in Middlesex County Superior Court, the release said.

After his arrest, authorities searched his home, where they found more recording devices and computers, including digital folders labeled with the names of local schools like Harvard, Northeastern, MIT, Boston University, Bunker Hill Community College, and Boston Latin — the country’s oldest high school.

In the Boston Latin folders, authorities found roughly 45 recordings of male students using the bathroom. Investigators believe the videos were recorded between February and December 2017 after school had ended for the day, federal authorities said. Thai was federally charged for what authorities found in the Boston Latin folders.

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“In general, the videos show Thai sitting in a bathroom stall at Boston Latin High School recording individuals in adjacent stalls or at the urinals through various secret recording methods,” authorities said in the release. In some videos, Thai holds a camera over the top of the partition between the bathroom stalls and videotaping from overhead. In other instances, he hides a small camera inside his backpack, places the backpack on the bathroom floor and videotapes individuals in the adjacent bathroom stall from under the stall’s partition.

Thai, 39, will also be supervised for five years after his release.

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