A 36-year-old Dorchester man was arrested and arraigned on Monday for allegedly filming boys in the restrooms at Boston Latin School, according to US Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office.
Eric Tran Thai was charged in federal court with five counts of sexual exploitation of children. He also is accused of filming in men’s restrooms in other locations, including Boston College.
Police located and spoke with Thai, after a Feb. 27 report of surreptitious filming at Boston College, then later arrested him on state charges in Middlesex County Superior Court.
The US Attorney’s office alleges that while speaking with police, Thai admitted to “taking some pictures” of a man in the stall next to him without the man’s consent and engaging in similar activity for about a year. Police said that a search of his bag after the arrest uncovered several covert camera devices, including faux smoke detectors, a water bottle containing a small cube recording device, and a pair of sunglasses with built-in cameras.
Law enforcement officials searched Thai’s home on March 1, seizing around 26 computer hard drives, 20 thumb drives, 27 covert and regular cameras, 14 computers, iPads, cell phones, and multiple SD and Sim cards. They contained several folders labeled: BU, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Boston Latin High School, and several different malls, airports, and foreign country locations.
Prosecutors allege that some 45 videos contained in folders labeled “Boston Latin High School” showed male students “in various states of dress using the urinals and stalls in a Boston Latin High School boys’ bathroom.” The videos appear to have been created on approximately 10 dates between February and December 2017,” the US Attorney’s office said in a press release. Thai is shown in these videos sitting in a bathroom stall at Boston Latin recording covertly.