110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
DeLand St. Peter School teacher in child-porn case gets bond
Mother of four St. Peter grads found iPad at Walmart
posted Apr 27, 2012 - 10:00:29am
UPDATED 2:03 P.M.: The former St. Peter Catholic School teacher arrested by DeLand Police because police found photos on his iPad of young girls undressing was granted a bond of $10,000 per charge today by County Court Judge Peter Marshall, and ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Marshall asked 33-year-old Joshua Waguespack if he needed a public defender to be appointed to represent him.
"I don't know," Waguespack replied.
Waguespack was arrested by DeLand Police April 26 and charged with video voyeurism with a victim younger than 16. The police began building their case against him April 1, after his iPad, containing pornographic images, was found at the DeLand Walmart Supercenter.
At his first-appearance hearing this morning, Waguespack told the judge he has been staying with a brother in Orlando. He was fired from St. Peter Catholic School April 13, after the school learned of the investigation.
Waguespack faces three charges: two felony counts of video voyeurism with a victim under the age of 16, and one count of tampering with evidence.
UPDATED 12:31 P.M.: Tina Jones has four daughters, all of whom attended St. Peter Catholic School in DeLand. In a twist of irony, Jones was the woman who found St. Peter teacher Joshua Waguespack's lost iPad at Walmart.
The tablet computer had on it pornographic images, according to Jones and the police. Waguespack, who has since been dismissed from his teaching job, was arrested April 26 by DeLand Police and charged with two felony counts of video voyeurism with victims under the age of 16.
After finding the iPad at the DeLand Supercenter, Jones took it home and asked her daughter, Stephanie Anderson, to see if she could figure out to whom it belonged.
"Stephanie opened it, and the first picture that popped up was a vagina," Jones said. "My 12-year-old granddaughter saw that."
Two or three other photos popped up before the women had to look away. Jones described a girl posing lasciviously for the camera in various stages of nudity, while performing sex acts on herself.
The photos Jones and her daughter saw were apparently in addition to the photos of St. Peter students, which police said showed only young girls undressing.
A neighbor, Bobby, who preferred that his last name not be used, said he was at the Anderson home on Minnesota Avenue in DeLand when a police officer arrived with Waguespack in tow.
Using an iPhone application, the officer and teacher had been knocking on doors in the neighborhood, trying to find the iPad, which was sending signals to report its location.
"They showed up, and Stephanie went to hand over the iPad," Bobby said. "He [Waguespack] snatched it out of her hand. Stephanie asked him, 'Hey, why do you have pictures of a naked little girl on there?'"
Bobby said that Waguespack walked away, and very obviously started to delete photos from the iPad. Waguespack had reported the loss of the iPad to DeLand Police on April 1.
"We were telling the police, 'He's deleting the photos right now, right in front of you,'" Bobby told The Beacon.
Bobby said Waguespack was accompanied by two officers.
One of the officers, the neighbors reported, told Waguespack to put the iPad on the back of the patrol car.
Tina Jones said Waguespack told her the pictures she had seen were of a woman who had just turned 18 years old.
Jones said there is a large Catholic population in her Northwest DeLand neighborhood.
"This neighborhood went crazy," Jones said.
According to the DeLand Police report of the investigation and arrest, Officer Jesse Smereske, who accompanied Waguespack to the Anderson home, got permission from Waguespack to look through his iPhone and "saw what appeared to be nude photos of juvenile females between the ages of 11 through 15."
At that time, the report states, both the iPad and iPhone were placed into evidence.
STATEMENT FROM DIOCESE: At 12:51 p.m. today, the Orlando Diocese of the Catholic Church issued the following statement about the arrest of Joshua Waguespack, who was recently dismissed from his job teaching eighth grade at St. Peter Catholic Church in DeLand:
"Upon learning of the DeLand Police Department investigation of Mr. Waguespack, Mr. Waguespack was placed on administrative leave. He was terminated on April 13 and we continued to cooperate with the authorities in their investigation.
"Mr. Waguespack was a teacher involved in educating our middle-school students in advanced mathematics at St. Peter’s, and had been employed since 2010. All Diocesan background-check procedures were followed in the hiring of Mr. Waguespack.
"The safety and well-being of our students are very important to us. Counselors will be at the school on Monday for those staff, parents or children who wish to speak to them. We pray for all those involved in the situation."
The statement was issued by Carol Brinati, chancellor for administration for the diocese.
REPORTED EARLIER: A teacher at St. Peter Catholic School in DeLand was arrested April 26 on charges of video voyeurism after police found photographs of young girls undressing on his computer.
On April 1, DeLand police began building a case against DeLand resident Joshua Waguespack, 33, an eighth-grade teacher at St. Peter, after Waguespack's iPad tablet was found at the Walmart Supercenter in DeLand.
The people who found the iPad turned it on in an attempt to find the owner and, instead, found suggestive photographs.
By the time the iPad was turned over to the DeLand police, however, Waguespack had begun deleting the criminal materials using his iPhone — which was synced to the tablet.
According to DeLand residents whose children attend St. Peter, when school officials learned of the police investigation, Waguespack was dismissed, and all the school families received a letter notifying them that a police investigation of one of the teachers was under way, and that they might be contacted by the DeLand Police Department.
Waguespack, police said, purchased pen cameras and hid them at the school, for the purpose of filming students while they undressed in his teacher's storage closet. According to police, Waguespack told police students sometimes use his storage closet as a dressing room.
Police were able to identify two St. Peter students, ages 12 and 13, who had been photographed while undressing. Police said the students did not know their actions were being filmed.
Police said Waguespack admitted to placing still photographs, extracted from the videos, on his iPhone.
On April 1, Waguespack called the police to report that he had lost his iPad. Using an iPhone application, the tablet computer was traced to a home in DeLand on West Minnesota Avenue.
The person who had found the iPad had turned it on in an attempt to find its owner, and found "nude photos of children," police said.
Waguespack used his iPhone, which was connected to the tablet, to delete the photos on the tablet.
Waguespack admitted, DeLand police said, that he deleted the material from his iPad because he did not want the police to see a nude photo of a female. Also, according to the police report, Waguespack told police he deleted computer data and recordings he had downloaded to his computer, and that he had thrown his surveillance cameras in a Dumpster at Country Club Park apartments in DeLand, where he lives.
On April 5, during a forensic examination of Waguespack's iPhone and iPad, images of two St. Peter's students, in various stages of undress, were recovered. The girls were positively identified by the principal.
The investigation also discovered inappropriate text messages Waguespack had sent to a 16-year-old high-school student. Waguespack told police he had been "very close to crossing the line" with the girl.
A woman answering the telephone this morning at St. Peter Catholic School had no comment. The principal, Peter Ranlov, was not available for comment. The diocese public-information office has not yet returned The Beacon's telephone calls.
Waguespack is being held at the Volusia County Correctional Facility on two felony counts of video voyeurism, defendant over 24, victim under 16, and tampering with evidence. He is being held without bond.
According to the DeLand Police report, Waguespack also told investigators that while working at a Walmart in Orlando "several years ago," he had hidden a video-surveillance camera in a back room where he knew female employees went to change their clothes, and that he would take video recorded on that camera home and masturbate while watching it.
Waguespack also told police he has placed up to three surveillance cameras in the closet in his classroom, where he knew sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders went to change clothes.
According to the report, Waguespack told police "he feels bad about what he's done, and does not want to become a pedophile."
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