According to the United States Attorney’s Office, a 46-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing materials relating to child sex abuse. He recorded minors using the bathroom at two residents.
Police in Chester, Vermont investigated Norman Merrill II after receiving reports of possible voyeurism at his house. The police claimed that Merrill secretly filmed young girls in the Green Mountain High School, where he was employed.
After obtaining warrants, the police seized electronic equipment. Cell phones, storage devices, and pinhole cameras were among the electronic devices seized.
Vermont State Police found a number of voyeuristic videos taken in residential bathrooms. Some were even from the man’s own home. The videos included minors who appeared to be nude.
Homeland Security Investigations agents found that Merrill installed hidden cameras in two bathrooms including one hidden under a sink. The camera was installed to record the minor’s private areas while she was using the bathroom.
A man created screen captures from videos that were taken by the hidden camera. The videos only showed the child’s genitalia. Adults and children were also caught on camera in the bathroom. Certain videos contained nudity.
Additional misconduct involving children was found upon review of Merrill’s electronic devices, including one file that depicted the sexual abuse of a child, a file he did not create himself. Merrill also allegedly cut the faces off of a series of photographs of female children, which then appeared to have been clipped and digitally overlaid onto images of adult pornography.
He also had secretly recorded videos of women wearing revealing clothing at a school. It was thought that this is the school where he works.
Merrill received a 10-year sentence from United States District Court Judge Christina Reiss, followed by 10 years of supervision. Merrill also had to pay a fine of $5,000 and $3.750 as restitution. The judge also ordered Merrill to pay a contribution of $3,000 to the Child Pornography Victims Reserve Fund.
The investigation was completed with efforts from the Chester Police Department, Vermont State Police, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations.