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[January 10, 2013]
Van Buren Substitute Teacher Suspected Of Video Voyeurism Arrested
Jan 10, 2013 (Times Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A substitute teacher with the Van Buren School District was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of felony video voyeurism.
Keith Dickens, 42, of Van Buren was arrested on suspicion of felony video voyeurism at around 2 p.m. Tuesday, said Chief Deputy Jim Damante of the Crawford County Sheriff's Office.
Damante said two second-grade boys at Tate Elementary School in Van Buren went to use the urinals in the bathroom of the school. The boys did not know anyone else was in the bathroom at the time, and allegedly saw a hand holding a cellphone toward them from underneath one of the bathroom stalls, Damante said.
The boys left the bathroom and alerted a female teacher of what they saw, describing the phone and some clothing of the suspect. The teacher waited outside the bathroom and allegedly saw Dickens come out, Damante said.
"They were very articulate, very bright young boys," Damante said. "They gave a very detailed description of the incident that happened." School district administration officials contacted authorities, Damante said. Deputies arrived at the school and interviewed the boys and Dickens voluntarily came to the Sheriff's Office to make a statement.
Dickens was arrested on suspicion of video voyeurism, a class D felony, and booked into the Crawford County Detention Center, where he was released on $7,500 bond, according to a jail official.
Damante said deputies have not searched the cellphone yet, and are waiting to obtain a search warrant.
"(Dickens) had made the comment that he had deleted what was on (the cellphone), which hopefully we can recover through our forensics people," Damante said.
Dickens refereed youth basketball games at the Boys & Girls Club in Van Buren, said Cindy Faldon, chief professional officer.
Assistant Superintendent Harry Tommey said substitute teachers are not technically employees of the school district, and if problems arise with a substitute teacher, they are removed from the list.
"We do a background check on our subs," Tommey said. "We do have training for them to tell them some of the dos and don'ts and to talk about the importance of the position and doing the correct thing." Damante said Dickens has no criminal history.
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