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Man charged with secretly recording boys in Boston Latin bathroom

Boston Latin School.
Boston Latin School.(JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF)

A 36-year-old Dorchester man was arrested Monday on federal charges that he secretly filmed several boys in a bathroom at Boston Latin School.

Prosecutors allege that Eric Tran Thai made 45 illicit recordings of male students at the school between February and December 2017 and recorded “individuals in numerous public restroom locations throughout greater Boston and elsewhere.”

Thai is a former Boston Latin student, school officials said.

Laura Perille, interim superintendent of the Boston Public Schools, said the alleged acts “represent a major violation to the student victims, along with the entire Boston Latin School community. Our primary concern is to provide any and all support to the victims of this disturbing situation.”

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Thai is charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of children. Each charge carries a sentence of at least 15 years in prison, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Thai appeared in US District Court in Boston and was released on $10,000 bail. His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prosecutors said Thai was arrested after he was caught recording students at Boston College in February 2018.

“According to court documents, on Feb. 6 and Feb. 27, 2018, two separate Boston College students reported to the police that they had been videotaped without their knowledge or consent while they were using the men’s restrooms on the Boston College campus,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Thai admitted to “taking some pictures” of a man in the stall next to him and that he had been taking such videos for about a year. Thai was arrested and in his bag police found several covert camera devices, including faux smoke detectors, a water bottle containing a small cube recording device, and sunglasses outfitted with a built-in camera.

During a search of Thai’s home in March 2018, “law enforcement seized approximately 26 computer hard drives, 20 thumb drives, 27 covert and regular cameras, 14 computers, iPads, and cell phones, and multiple SD and Sim cards,” prosecutors said.

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Investigators found several folders labeled BU, MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Bunker Hill, Boston Latin High School, and several different malls, airports, and foreign country locations, prosecutors said.


Danny McDonald of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.