By SARAH SUTSCHEK - ssutschek@shawmedia.com

CL Central student posts bail

Teen is accused of placing hidden camera in school locker room

WOODSTOCK – A Crystal Lake Central High School student was released on $15,000 bond Friday after being accused of planting a small camera in a boys locker room.

Luke Patrick Gildea, 17, of Crystal Lake, is charged with one count of unauthorized video recording, a Class 4 felony, and one count of unauthorized video recording with a victim under 18 years of age, a Class 3 felony.

The more serious charge, the Class 3 felony, typically is punishable by up to five years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Gildea "videotaped subjects entering and exiting the shower" in the locker room.

Gildea appeared in rights court at the McHenry County Jail shortly after 8 a.m. Friday in front of Judge Michael Feetterer, who noted the teen's lack of criminal history in setting the bond.

Gildea posted the required 10 percent of his bond, or $1,500, to be released. He said he planned to hire his own private attorney, so his application for a public defender was denied.

Misdemeanor cases with defendants who are 17 years old are handled in juvenile court where their identities are not made public. Felony charges involving 17-year-olds, however, take place in adult felony court with public proceedings.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael Combs said Crystal Lake police sought felony charges.

"At the request of the Crystal Lake Police Department, we filed this as a felony," said Combs, who is chief of the Criminal Division. "The reality is that we would have preferred to have kept this in juvenile [court]."

Combs said the public scrutiny Gildea has been subjected to is "unfortunate" and that it's not in Gildea's best interest to be a convicted felon for the rest of his life.

"He's a kid," Combs said. "He did something stupid."

School District 155 spokesman Jeff Puma said he legally could not disclose whether any disciplinary action has been taken against Gildea, who is a junior.

"At this point, we're still working to make sure we have all the information," Puma said. "We're working cooperatively with the police department to ensure that we know all the facts going forward. Then we'll take appropriate action as dictated under our school board policy."

Suspension or expulsion are possible consequences, he said.

Puma also said he could not comment on whether Gildea will be allowed to attend school Monday.

The camera was found about 7 a.m. Thursday by a student at the school for an early workout, school officials have said. It was a pinhole camera, which can be disguised as part of an ordinary object.

No other devices were found during a search of all locker rooms and bathrooms at the school and other District 155 schools.

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