Lott Due in Court on Charges of Videoing Boys in Showers
Former Bernardsville assistant principal set to appear on Aug. 10, remains jailed, attorney says.
Patrick Lott, the former Bernardsville Middle School vice-principal accused of videotaping male students in the showers at Immaculata High School, is scheduled to appear for his next court hearing on Aug. 10, according to his attorney, James Wronko, who added he will question the basis for some of the charges.
Lott is slated to appear for a further arraignment on charges for which he was indicted late last month, Wronko said. Lott, who remains in Somerset County Jail, is set to appear at 9 a.m. on that date before State Superior Court Judge Julie Marino in Somerville, Wronko said.
The 55-year-old Lott was indicted at the end of June on 91 counts stemming from accusations that he allegedly used hidden cameras to secretly record nude boys in the shower at Immaculata. The Somerville resident, arrested last December, was at the time a volunteer sports coach at the private Catholic school.
Wronko said he is still examining evidence in the case against Lott. However, he noted that Lott is not accused of anything beyond videotaping, and he is not charged with disseminating videos.
The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office announced late in June that Lott had been indicted on 29 counts of third-degree invasion of privacy, 30 counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, 17 counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child and 15 counts of fourth-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Wronko said Lott is not accused of being "a Sandusky," referring to Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Penn State who was convicted in late June for years of child sex abuse.
Among the accusations against his client, Wronko said, is that Lott supposedly endanged the welfare and morals of a child. Even the charges specify that the students were unaware of allegedly being taped, and the accusation cannot be even be made that their welfare and morals were endangered, Wronko said.
Wronko said that as far as he knows, the investigation is concluded.
Educators at the Somerset Hills Regional School District have repeatedly said that there are no allegations against Lott that he even attempted any videotaping activities while he was employed at district's schools in Bernardsville. The Somerset County Prosecutor's office searched the Somerset Hills schools shortly after Lott's arrest around Christmas 2011, and found nothing, Somerset Hills Superintendent Peter Miller said at that time.
In a follow up email after Lott's indictment, Miller said in an email that nothing has changed since that earlier search of Somerset Hills school buildings. "We have not been informed of any connection to students in our district," Miller said.
In December 2011, detectives assigned to the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Unit executed a search warrant of Lott's Somerville residence, and supposedly seized multiple computer and digital recordings that contained several videos in which 29 students and former students were identified, the prosecutor's office said. Fifteen were determined to be under the age of 16 at the time the videos were made, according to the prosecutor's office.
Detectives allegedly found the camera where it had been installed to video the shower area, the prosecutor's office said.