Boston man accused of secretly filming boys in restroom is expected to plead guilty in federal court on Monday
A Boston man who was indicted by a federal grand jury last year for secretly filming boys in a Boston Latin School washroom is expected to plead guilty on Monday, court records show.
Erin Tran Thai, 36, was charged and arrested in March 2019. He faces several counts of child sexual exploitation.
Federal court records show that on February 6, 2018 and February 27, 2018, two separate Boston College students reported to police that they had been filmed without their knowledge or consent while using the men’s washroom from the Boston College campus.
Police in spoke to Thai after the incident on February 27, 2018, and he was arrested on state charges in Middlesex Superior Court.
“It is alleged that speaking with police, Thai admitted to ‘taking photos’ of a man in the stand next to him without the man’s consent,” federal authorities said. “He further admitted to having engaged in such activity for about a year.”
Investigators, at the time of the arrest, searched Thai’s bag and located several secret cameras, including: fake smoke detectors, a water bottle containing a small cube-shaped recording device, and a pair of sunglasses equipped with an integrated camera, according to records.
Authorities then raided Thai’s home on March 1, 2018 and seized approximately 26 computer hard drives, 20 USB drives, 27 secret and regular cameras, 14 computers, iPads and cell phones, as well as several SD and Sim cards.
The elements were then examined by investigators. Several files were labeled “BU, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Boston Latin High School and several malls, airports and overseas locations,” federal officials said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, videos in files titled “Boston Latin High School” contained 45 surreptitiously recorded videos of male students in various states of clothing using urinals and stalls in a boys’ bathroom. the Boston Latin School.
It appears that the videos were created on 10 separate dates between February and December 2017.
“In general, the videos show Thais sitting in a bathroom at Boston Latin High School registering individuals in adjacent stalls or in urinals by various covert registration methods,” authorities said. “In some videos, Thai appears to be holding a camera over the partition between the bathroom stalls and filming overhead.”
Investigators said Thai in other cases hid a small camera in a backpack and placed the backpack on the bathroom floor in order to film other people in the adjacent bathroom.
“While recording, it appears that Thai would simultaneously see what the camera was recording on a cell phone or tablet in his possession,” federal authorities said.
Thai initially pleaded not guilty in federal court. Records show that a plea hearing change is scheduled for Monday in federal court in Boston.