ASHEVILLE NC March 3 2012 — Owen Middle School teacher Kevin Mark Calloway admitted using his cell phone to record videos of students’ genitals as they urinated in the boys’ bathroom, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Memory cards seized from Calloway’s Swannanoa home contained an explicit recording of a 14-year-old student taken at the school in November 2010 as they discussed basketball tryouts and another of a boy recorded early last year in “a residential setting,” according to the document.
The complaint also states that the defendant admitted he exchanged “sexually toned text messages” with a 16-year-old student.
Calloway, 41, a sixth-grade math and science teacher who was suspended last month, made a first appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court on a charge of production of child pornography.
Magistrate Judge Dennis Howell approved a motion by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Kent that the defendant remain in custody pending a detention hearing set for Monday.
Appearing in court in a Buncombe County jail jumpsuit, Calloway said he has hired Asheville attorney Jack Stewart to represent him and that he had no questions for the judge.
Howell advised him not to discuss the case with anyone but his lawyer.
According to the complaint filed Wednesday, Owen Middle administrators received reports from four sixth-grade boys in December that Calloway was seen using his cell phone to take pictures of boys as they urinated in a school bathroom.
“The students alleged that Calloway would peer at their ‘private parts’ and hold his phone out near their exposed parts as they utilized the urinals,” the document states.
The federal charge follows Calloway’s arrest by Buncombe County sheriff’s deputies last month on charges of taking indecent liberties with a student, secret peeping and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was suspended from teaching without pay.
The federal complaint states that Owen Middle administrators conducted an internal investigation of the allegations by the four boys but concluded they were unfounded.
But on Feb. 1, detectives learned about the incident and opened an investigation.
Detectives met with Principal Vicky Matthews, then asked Calloway to come to the Sheriff’s Office for an interview. The complaint states he admitted having software on his cell phone called Spycam that he used to take videos.
“Calloway said that during the school day he would accompany boys into the boys’ bathroom,” according to the document. “Calloway would have his phone in his hand and he would turn on the Spycam app so that it would record while he was in the bathroom. Calloway said he would pick up things from the floor such as paper towels and other trash throughout the bathroom while he was recording the boys.”
The suspect told detectives they would likely find the videos on his phone, the complaint states.
Calloway also admitted that he had a “fascination with penises” and would search the Internet for such images depicting teenage boys.
Following the interview, deputies executed a search warrant at the suspect’s Melody Circle home and seized memory cards, computers and other electronic storage devices.
Examination of the memory cards revealed “numerous videos consistent with Calloway’s statements to law enforcement,” the complaint states.
It alleges detectives also discovered three videos taken in “a residential setting” in January and February 2011 of a 16-year-old boy they were able to identify. The videos appeared to be taken surreptitiously with the camera set in “motion-detecting mode” as the boy used the toilet.
“The boy’s face is not shown and the focal point is the genitals,” the complaint states.
The failure by Matthews to report the allegations to law enforcement resulted in her being placed on administrative leave by Buncombe County Schools. She later submitted her resignation effective June 30.
Officials said a parent of one of the alleged victims called the school just before Christmas break to report an incident involving Calloway.
Matthews spoke with four students and Calloway the first day back from break in January, but he offered “a plausible explanation” that seemed to satisfy the students and parents involved, schools spokeswoman Jan Blunt said.
School officials said they found no evidence of “willful intent to withhold information” from law enforcement or the central office by Matthews.
The Sheriff’s Office got involved after a family friend complained to a detective.