21-year-old swim school instructor fired, turned over to police after discovery of hidden camera

NOW: 21-year-old swim school instructor fired, turned over to police after discovery of hidden camera

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Police executed a search warrant on the home of a 21-year-old swim instructor in connection to the discovery of a hidden camera in Swimtastic Swim School's employee locker room Wednesday.

“One of the girls (who’s) a swim instructor there was changing and noticed a Kleenex box that had a hole punched in it," Waukesha Police Lt. Jerry Habanek said.

The 17-year-old swim instructor found the box sitting on a shelf around 8:34 p.m. on Feb. 5. When she investigated the Kleenex box, she discovered a camera in it. 

She alerted a 21-year-old, male instructor, who went into the room and told her he destroyed the camera. He then fled the business before police arrived. 

“He did know whose it was; it was his camera," Habanek said.

West Milwaukee police located the 21-year-old and turned him over to Waukesha police before executing a search warrant on his home. 

The man confessed to using his personal phone as a camera and discarding it at Swimtastic. 

Staff located the phone and handed it over to authorities. 

Police say the camera was only used in the employee changing room. No clients of Swimtastic were subjects of this crime.

“The business did everything right here," Habanek said. "They try to control who they hire. This is a person who’d been there about a year.”

In a statement, Michelle Posey, owner of Waukesha Swimtastic Swim School said the following:

"I received an update from the Waukesha Police Department that we want to share with our swim students and families. We are saddened to learn that evidence has been discovered implicating one of our employees tied to hiding a camera in the employee-only dressing room. It is our understanding that charges are being pressed, victims have been notified, and we are continuing to give our full cooperation in the police investigation. Our deepest sympathies are with the individuals affected by that employee’s disturbing actions. Detectives confirm that their investigation is revealing that no clients of Swimtastic were the subject of this incident. It is our promise to our team of instructors and clients and their families that we will take every measure necessary to ensure we protect the safety of our swim school environment.

Third-party background checks are an important part of our hiring practices that we always adhere to and we have a strict zero-tolerance policy for misconduct. While the police indicated that we could not have foreseen this incident, we take responsibility to find every way imaginable to guard against something of this nature from ever occurring again. Our number one priority right now is supporting our team of instructors to navigate this troubling situation and support them however needed."

The company says the 21-year-old employee was immediately suspended and has since been terminated.

Charges are expected against the man next week.


Posted: 11:58 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2020

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A hidden camera was found in an employee locker room at Swimtastic Swim School in Waukesha. 

Police say the device was found by an employee on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

The employee told other staff members they smashed the camera and flushed it down a drain in the boy's locker room. 

In a statement made on Feb. 6, Swimtastic Swim School said the following:

"Swimtastic is absolutely committed to providing a safe environment for our team of instructors and our clients. A situation was brought to our attention in which a hidden camera may have been planted in our employee-only dressing room. We have taken all measures to act swiftly on this concerning allegation and with proper authorities. We immediately contacted the Waukesha Police Department and have been in full cooperation with their investigation. We are also undergoing a full internal investigation. Swimtastic adheres to a strict zero-tolerance policy for any actions of misconduct. It is important that I relay that our entire facility has been inspected and there is no evidence that this took place anywhere besides the employee-only dressing room which is not accessible to the public. As the authorities keep us apprised of their investigation, we will continue to take appropriate and immediate action as needed.”

In 2013, a Swimtastic instructor was charged with setting up hidden cameras in bathrooms.

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