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Apr 24, 2013 1:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Middle School Gym Teacher Will Return To Court On Monday

Apr 24, 2013 2:24 PM

The Westhampton Beach Middle School gym teacher arrested last month on charges that he videotaped students in the girls locker room is due to return to court next week.

Thomas Sheppard, 27, of Speonk is scheduled to appear at the Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Monday, April 29, when he is expected to be arraigned on one felony count of second-degree unlawful surveillance and seven misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. At his original arraignment last Month, Mr. Sheppard was charged only with the felony count.

Mr. Clifford explained this week that Mr. Sheppard was indicted before a grand jury on April 8, but the details of his indictment have been sealed until his next court date on Monday.

Mr. Sheppard was arrested by State Police on March 20. They said their investigation, which began on March 6, revealed that Mr. Sheppard, a four-year employee of the district, placed a video recording device in the girls’ locker room at the middle school.

Investigators have not said when the incident allegedly took place, or how many girls were victimized, though district officials contacted Westhampton Beach Village Police on February 26 to request an investigation. Village Police later requested that State Police take charge of the investigation.

Mr. Sheppard, who has been suspended with pay since his arrest, remains free on bail.

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Police recovered cellphone video with teachers face on video setting up camera to tape girls gym class. Parent of another gym class told police her daughter saw Sheppard in locker room another day. District parents are happy state police recovered deleted video and are forever grateful to police who have stopped this predator . THANK YOU
By linews (6), westhampton on Apr 27, 13 1:44 PM
1 member liked this comment
How about waiting to see what the evidence actually shows? Not law enforcement's self-interested interpretation.
By ex-pat (49), East Quogue on Apr 29, 13 4:26 PM
Before anyone makes any comments about this case they should get their facts correct. Westhampton Schools male gym teachers go in and out of the girls locker room . The school stores equipment there. There is no policy reguarding that. So to see Mr. Sheppard or any other male teacher going into the girls locker room is not unusual. Have you never accidently misplaced your cellphone somewhere when you have many things on your mind. It happens to people all the time. So dont be so quick to call ...more
By mother of three (2), Mount Sinai on Apr 28, 13 2:47 PM
I don't understand. MOTHER OF 3 you must be apart of Sheppards family because I don't understand how else you would still be defending this man. A lot of different stories came out after his arrest including he dropped his phone... Now that the evidence clearly states his face on the video and that he set up the camera, do you still stand by him? I understand you don't want to believe your family member/ friend/ whatever is a good guy who would never do this but what if those were your daughters? ...more
By Lizfoley17 (3), Whb on Apr 30, 13 11:08 AM
Not for nothin', but apparently he told police that he lost the cell phone and it "accidentally" started to record. I guess he then "accidentally" deleted the video, which "accidentally" showed his face on it setting it up? Come on, accept reality. I was on the fence about this case until the DA made the comments he made.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 30, 13 12:27 PM
OMG people are so stupid!
By SampsonSimpson (6), on Apr 30, 13 12:21 PM
Wait a minute? He" accidentally" did this more than one time also. I think making him a teacher and letting him near children was the worst accident of all. He was caught before he may have tried to take it to another disgusting level. Those girls did the right thing and anyone that attacks them for coming forward should be ashamed of themselves.
By SampsonSimpson (6), on Apr 30, 13 12:35 PM
It was ealier implied that his face was seen on the video, but nowhere in the article did it state that. One also needs their hands to set up a video, so was it his hands or his face?? Also, for all those who are so convinvced of his guilt, please explain why only 12 of the 23 Grand Jury members voted to indict him. Surely if his face was visible then all 23 would have voted to indict, no?? I have no idea if he is innocent or guilty and will await all the facts before I profess judgement. But ...more
By jkp720 (8), Westhampton on May 1, 13 2:37 PM
It is stated in other articles, 27 east left out that part where the prosecution specifically says his face is seen setting up the correct angle. And where did you get the number 12? It has to be at least 12 out of the 23 but where did you read only 12 of the jurors convicted him? Maybe you read at least 12 of the jurors. I hear what your saying about Tawana Brawley, but I can't help but be annoyed people keep referencing cases where the victim was lying. It's like your accusing these young girls ...more
By Lizfoley17 (3), Whb on May 1, 13 2:52 PM
1 member liked this comment
Read yesterdays Newsday. The DA clearly explained the evidence against Sheppard...including the fact that his face and body were seen as he deliberately hid the camera.
(And 27 east, please do not remove my comment because i sited newsday, their article held the necessary information and direct quotes from the DA to finally get the truth out there...maybe a follow up article might help!)
By speonkmomof4 (4), speonk on May 1, 13 2:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
The newer 4/29/13 article is linked at the top left of this page.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 1, 13 3:01 PM