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Former McHenry teacher stands trial on upskirt photo allegation

Tom Eggert
Tom Eggert

WOODSTOCK — A bench trial began Thursday for a former McHenry High School teacher accused of taking a photo up a student's skirt.

Thomas P. Eggert, 44, of McHenry, has denied all allegations against him, including two counts of unauthorized recording and one count of disorderly conduct. All the charges are misdemeanors – the most serious carries a possible punishment of up to a year in the McHenry County Jail, a fine of up to $2,500 or both.

Eggert’s verdict will be decided by McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt, rather than a jury. The trial will resume Friday morning.

According to testimony, two girls saw Eggert, a former teacher at East Campus, use his phone’s camera function to zoom in and up the skirt of another student. Only one of the girls testified that she saw the teacher take a photo.
However, testimony revealed that no such photo existed on Eggert’s phone.

The alleged incident is said to have happened in May 2014, during school hours at an event in the high school auditorium.

East Campus Associate Principal Lynn Schnelker testified that she confronted Eggert with the student who reported the allegation, and because no photos were on his phone, she said to him: “Don’t worry. There are no pictures on the phone. It’s a done deal.”

Schnelker also said Eggert told her in that initial confrontation that at some point during the event in the auditorium, he went back to his classroom where he left his phone.

Testimony later revealed that statement wasn’t true. Schnelker then sent Eggert unaccompanied to his classroom to retrieve the phone. He returned and showed her the phone, that had pictures from the school event, but no inappropriate photos of students.

The school later continued the investigation, and Eggert eventually was fired with no settlement or severance package.

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