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Vermont School Principal Denies Spying on Student

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A high school principal in Vermont’s Windsor County is accused of secretly recording a student in the bathroom and other private settings.

Vermont State Police said 55-year-old Dean Stearns of Sharon had a female exchange student living with his family.

According to a police affidavit, Stearns allegedly hid cameras in a clock, cell phone charger, and night light to spy on the girl, who recently turned 16.

Investigators said the student contacted them to report she found a hidden camera that produced video showing her using the bathroom.

The student said previously, during a trip out of state, she had found a cell phone propped up in the bathroom set to record in the direction of the shower.

State police said Stearns is the principal of the South Royalton High School.

The district superintendent's office told NBC 5 News that Stearns has been placed on administrative leave.

The Valley News reported that Stearns resigned from his job in October after voters approved a merger of the Bethel and Royalton school districts, but that the resignation was not effective until June of 2018.

Thursday, Stearns pled not guilty to charges of voyeurism and promoting the recording of sexual conduct. He was released on court-ordered conditions.

Detectives are still investigating.

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