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Former Pasco County Schools teacher arrested after recording students going to the bathroom in his home

Posted at 2:05 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 23:30:13-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A 41-year-old man was arrested after officials say he recorded students going to the bathroom with a hidden camera.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said on August 22, 2019, detectives received information from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office that they were investigating Thomas Kovack for video voyeurism.

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During the investigation, Pasco County detectives found videos on a memory card in Kovack's possession that were captured in Pinellas County.

Pinellas County detectives learned that Kovack was a teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School from 2011-12 as a journalism teacher. He would regularly text his students while out of school dealing with the school's newspaper and gained their trust.

Investigators said Kovack set up a motion-activated camera in his bathroom, and in June 2011, he invited several students to his Palm Harbor home for a pool party.

He provided students with alcohol and offered for them to spend the night.

While no student stayed the night, several of them were captured on the hidden camera without their knowledge or consent.

On Tuesday, detectives interviewed Kovack and he admitted to setting up the camera in his bathroom. He told detectives he recorded his students and stored the videos on the SD drive that was later detained by Pasco County detectives.

Kovack was arrested and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.

He was charged with 10 counts of video voyeurism.

This is still an ongoing investigation.