FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Tennessee authorities have confirmed a GoPro camera hidden in a restroom room at Premier Athletics in Franklin captured footage of roughly 60 females, most of whom were minors.
The Franklin Police Department confirmed to WKRN that the suspect is an employee of the cheerleading studio, who had been “intermittently staging the camera to film video” in the restroom, often used as a changing room, since September.
The facility’s general manager reportedly discovered the camera and turned it in to police on Thursday, WTVF reported.
According to police, the facility’s management has also assisted in identifying 47 of the 60 victims, two of whom appear to have been partially undressed in the videos. Detectives are currently notifying parents of identified victims while seeking to identify the remaining 13, WKRN reported.
Premier Athletics reportedly emailed parents of the girls who have used the studio to inform them that the suspect is no longer employed by the company.
“I was just dumbfounded when I found out, especially because I knew him... talked to the guy several times. I’ve known him since I’ve been coming to the gym up here, so it’s very unfortunate, but what do you do?” parent John Woelk, whose daughter trains at the facility, told WTVF.
“No little kid should have to go through this period. It’s heartbreaking for the little girls,” he added.
No evidence collected to date indicates other private areas of the facility were filmed, and multiple charges are expected to be filed, WKRN reported.
The police department issued a statement calling the placement of a camera in such a private place “a violation of trust in its most extreme form.”
“This is terribly upsetting to parents and their children, and it is just as troubling to us. The Department is working diligently to safeguard sensitive images, to help victims and their families cope and to prepare a solid criminal case for the courtroom,” the department stated.