Thomas Bavedas – 3rd grade teacher puts cameras under students desk


A former city elementary school teacher faces criminal charges for allegedly hiding a video camera in a classroom closet and videotaping girls as they changed into costumes in preparation for a Halloween pageant.

Thomas Bavedas, 39, who resigned as a third-grade teacher at Waltersville School last May after his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Milford, was arrested again Monday. This time, he was charged with nine counts of voyeurism and nine counts of risk of injury to a minor.

Bavedas, of Brooklawn Drive, Milford, free on bond in the earlier case, surrendered to Milford police after being told there was a warrant for his arrest here. He is awaiting trial in Milford Superior Court on charges of marijuana and cocaine possession, first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, possession of child pornography, importing child pornography and employing a minor in an obscene performance.

Bavedas, dressed in a black hooded sweat shirt, his hands chained behind his back, was later brought before Superior Court Judge Bruce Levin.

The judge shook his head as he read the warrant affidavit. He then glanced to Bavedas who stood beside his lawyer, Edmund Q. Collier, shifting from one foot to the other.

Assistant State’s Attorney Marc Durso urged the judge to set a high bond for Bavedas because of the serious nature of the charges.

Collier asked the judge for leniency, pointing out a plea deal is in the works in the Milford case that could mean his client will have to serve a lengthy prison term.

Levin, however, agreed with Durso and ordered Bavedas held in lieu of $500,000 bond. He continued the case to Jan. 6.

On May 19, police detectives from Bridgeport and Milford police departments served a search warrant on Bavedas’ Milford home and said they found a large amount of child pornography, including video images that appeared to have been taken in a school.

Bavedas, a teacher in the Bridgeport school system since August 1999, most recently was a teacher at Waltersville School and the Lighthouse after-school program.

Police said some of the video images taken from Bavedas’ home appear to have come from a camera that was placed under students’ desks and clearly showed at least two girls’ underwear.

Police also found at the defendant’s home DVDs of nearly 10 girls, ages 9 to 12, getting undressed and then dressed into Halloween costumes in a closet in Bavedas’ classroom at Waltersville School, according to police. The video was taken on Oct. 31, 2007, police said.

In June, police said detectives searched Bevedas’ classroom and discovered a hole bored into the closet wall that appeared shaped to hold a video camera. Police said the hole was concealed on the outside of the closet with a bulletin board.

“He arranged activities to be performed by female students so he could get desirable video shots of them that were sexually satisfying to him,” said police Sgt. Jesus Ortiz Jr.

Robert Henry, the chief of staff for the city’s schools, said Monday afternoon he was unaware of the arrest and declined comment.

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