On Monday, November 7, police in Bloomington, Indiana charged 36-year-old William Mars with child exploitation with intent to satisfy/arouse sex desires, obstruction of justice, and voyeurism after a hidden smartphone camera was found in the girl’s locker room at Bloomington High School North. Mars was working as a janitor at the high school at the time of the alleged incident.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, five members of the girl’s swim team, each around 13 years old, were in the locker room on November 1, 2018. One of the girls discovered a hidden iPhone, which was recording video through a hole in a trash bag of towels in the corner of the locker room.
When the phone was moved, Mars was notified through Bluetooth connectivity and went to the locker room to search for the phone. According to police, Mars initially lied and changed his story, but eventually admitted that he had set up the phone’s video recording function and hidden the device in the trash bag.
Mars is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. on November 9.
Jeff Gibson helps survivors of sexual violence find justice and support in the civil court system. We’ve asked him for some input into the legal options available to those who have been abused by school employees:
All parents want to believe that their children are safe at school, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. Tragically, many sexual predators seek out employment at schools and abuse their positions of trust as teachers, coaches, counselors, janitors, and other positions in order to sexually abuse students. When this happens, it’s important for the victim and their family to be aware of their legal rights.
In some cases, sexual abuse committed by school employees is the result of negligence on the part of the school district. An example might be a school failing to run a proper background check before hiring a new employee who has a history of sexual misconduct. In cases where negligence played a role in enabling sexual abuse to occur, the victims may have grounds for lawsuits against schools for sex abuse.
Determining school liability for sexual abuse is a complicated process. If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a school employee, you can learn more about your legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyer.