Burnsville police are investigating a report that a janitor at a private school stuck a camera under a bathroom stall divider to photograph a 10-year-girl on the toilet.
The janitor has not yet been charged with a crime, but he was not allowed to return to his job at the elementary school. Police seized a digital camera, a computer and discs for analysis by a forensic examiner, according to documents filed in Dakota County District Court.
The principal of Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Burnsville had called police on Oct. 6 to report the incident. He reported that a 10-year-old girl had told her teacher the day before that while she was going to the bathroom, a man had put the camera under the bathroom stall divider and pointed it at her.
The girl told police that just before 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 5, she had walked to the bathroom at school and found the door open because the custodian was cleaning the bathroom. The girl told police that she was in the stall for about 30 seconds when she saw a man's hand point a silver camera at her from the corner of the stall.
She left the stall about 20 seconds later, the girl told police, and then saw the custodian walking away from her down the hall.
The school principal, the pastor of the church and a supervisor told the janitor that he was not to return to school until he spoke with police. They told him of the allegations.
During an interview with police, the janitor initially denied taking a photo of the girl but eventually confessed that he used his silver camera, but he said he wasn't sure if he actually got a picture of the girl, the court papers say. He told police that a church member had contacted his father and told him of the incident, and that his father had taken the camera. The janitor called his father, learned of where the father had put it, and gave it to police.
No information was available Friday on what images, if any, police found on the camera.
The janitor was vague, the court papers say, when police asked him if he downloaded the photos. He consented to the police request to seize his computer. The janitor also, at the behest of police, turned over 25 recordable CDs.
A call to the school principal and the ex-janitor were not immediately returned Friday.
Joy Powell • 612-952-882-9017