TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - A man is in jail under a a $1.25 million bond after being charged with more than 50 counts of secret peeping and nine counts of indecent liberties stemming from three years of videos taken in Alexander County.
Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department officers arrested 32-year-old Michael Justin Childers at his home on Thursday at 4 p .m.
This arrest stems from an ongoing investigation beginning in Dec. 2020 that initiated from Wittenburg Elementary School in Alexander County.
On Dec. 1, 2020, a camera was found in a staff bathroom at Wittenburg Elementary School. The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and arrested Childers with one count of felony secret peeping. Childers was employed as a custodian at Wittenburg Elementary School and Ellendale Elementary School.
The continued investigation has led to numerous videos being located in Childers’ possession.
The investigation has also revealed that a camera was placed in a staff bathroom at Ellendale Elementary School.
Instead, investigators say the videos appear to have been taken between 2016 and 2019, while Childers was an employee of Walmart in Taylorsville.
Taylorsville Police Department charged Childers with 53 counts of felony secret peeping and nine counts of felony indecent liberties with a minor. Alexander County Sheriff’s Office charged Childers with 55 counts of felony possession of secret peeping material and two counts of felony secret peeping.
Officials say the indecent liberties charges are connected to the alleged secret peeping of minor victims. Specifically the use of a camera to secretly peep on a minor, and are not connected to the schools.
The two counts of felony secret peeping that were charged by the Sheriff’s Office stemmed from a video that was taken at a home in Alexander County.
On March 5, Childers was charged with five counts of Felony Secret Peeping and five counts of Felony Possession of Secret Peeping Material. These charges stem from a continuing investigation that began in Dec. 2020.
Three of the Felony Secret Peeping charges stem from Ellendale Elementary School, and two of the Felony Secret Peeping charges stem from Wittenburg Elementary School.
At this time, officials say there are NO known underage victims from either school.
Childers is being held at the Alexander County Detention Center under a $1.25 million secured bond. Childers was given an additional secured bond of $100,000, bringing his total bond amount to $1,350,000.
He has a first appearance date is Monday, March 8, 2021 in Alexander County District Court.
This investigation is continuing by Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and Taylorsville Police Department. Officials say any victims will be notified as they are found.
Alexander County Schools is fully cooperating and assisting Alexander County Sheriff’s Office in this investigation.