A Bradley County, Tennessee, grand jury will hear the case against a former teacher and coach at Cleveland Middle School who was arrested March 16 because of a video camera he allegedly hid in a girls locker room, following a hearing Thursday in General Sessions Court.
Christopher Dalton Schroll, 31, of Belmont Circle in Cleveland, is charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful photographing of a minor stemming from the mid-March discovery of a video camera hidden in a girls' locker room. The camera allegedly contained images of at least 30 girls, some partially clothed, according to officials and court records.
Schroll is represented by the Cleveland law office of Chancey-Kanavos, but office staff there said the former teacher's attorneys had no comment when contacted Friday by phone. There was no response to a message seeking comment left Friday for Schroll at a phone number listed in his name.
Bradley County, Tennessee, Affidavit of ComplaintView
Stephen Crump, 10th Judicial District attorney general, said Friday in an email his office could not comment on the case until after the grand jury presentation.
Schroll's next court date will be June 27 if his case is presented to the June grand jury, according to an email sent Friday by Aaron J. Chaplin, the assistant district attorney handling the case.
According to an affidavit, Cleveland police were notified March 15 of the discovery of what authorities described as a spy camera — DivineEagle brand — that looked like a mobile phone charger with a USB port but also contained a camera lens and an SD memory card.
When detectives interviewed Schroll at the school, he told police he purchased the camera on Amazon and put it in the girls locker room the morning of March 14, the document states.
"Mr. Schroll advised he did this because of complaints he was getting from females about being bullied and harassed," the affidavit states. "Mr. Schroll also stated that he would get the camera at the end of each day and take it home to his personal desktop computer to review the footage."
Cleveland Middle School Principal Nat Akiona and eighth-grade Assistant Principal Scott Carroll told detectives Schroll never brought any bullying or harassment complaints to their attention.
Detectives determined Schroll on March 15 reinstalled the camera in the girls' locker room, the affidavit states, and that was the day it was found by one of the girls.
Videos initially viewed on the camera included a view of the girls' locker room and a student finding the camera, the affidavit states. Other images pulled from the camera showed multiple girls in the locker room including one girl taking off her shirt to reveal her sports bra and another can be seen changing pants.
"Based on the context of the images it was obvious that the females in the locker room did not appear to know that they were being filmed," the affidavit states.
Officers then watched school surveillance camera footage of the locker room area from the morning of March 14, according to the affidavit.
"In the video, we observed that Christopher Schroll, an eighth-grade teacher and soccer coach, was in the area of the girls' locker room at 7:10 [a.m.]," investigators state in the affidavit. "We also observed that Mr. Schroll was in the area of the girls' locker room on March 15, 2022, at 7:04 [a.m.]."
After the camera discovery, Cleveland City Schools officials worked with police to identify the girls in the images and then notified their families, according to Cleveland police. When investigators determined the videotaping took place over two days, Schroll was charged with a second count.
Akiona and Cleveland City Schools Director Russell Dyer spoke to parents and the community on a video posted on the system website in the days following Schroll's arrest.
In the video, Dyer and Akiona assured students' families that safety was officials' highest priority and said school officials were upset by the allegations.
Schroll was suspended from his job following his arrest and a spokesperson for Cleveland City Schools on Friday said that's still his employment status.
Meanwhile, Schroll remains free on a $10,000 bond.