Local

McHenry East teacher fired, accused of taking upskirt photo of student

Thomas P. Eggert, a teacher at McHenry East Campus, is accused of unlawfully photographing a student's skirt area and focusing on her underwear. This happened in May, and a trial is supposed to start this week. Eggert was terminated by the district Monday.
Thomas P. Eggert, a teacher at McHenry East Campus, is accused of unlawfully photographing a student's skirt area and focusing on her underwear. This happened in May, and a trial is supposed to start this week. Eggert was terminated by the district Monday.

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry high school teacher was fired in the wake of criminal allegations he took a photograph of a student’s undergarments.

Thomas P. Eggert, 44, of McHenry was scheduled for trial this week on misdemeanor unlawful videotaping and disorderly conduct charges. A bench trial before McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt is slated for Nov. 6.

Eggert allegedly used the camera function of a cellphone to zoom in on a student’s “skirt area,” focusing on her undergarments, McHenry Deputy Police Chief John Birk said.

The alleged incident occurred May 6 during school hours and while other students were present. School administrators were immediately alerted by two other students who are said to have witnessed the alleged act. School officials notified police.

Eggert taught social studies at McHenry High School – East Campus since August 2008, and was placed on paid leave after his May arrest, while the school conducted its own investigation, District 156 Superintendent Mike Roberts said.

The school board voted unanimously Monday to terminate Eggert with no settlement or severance, Roberts said. Eggert earned $73,600 last year.

School officials said they were waiting to take action on his employment while his cellphone was being analyzed at a crime lab.

“We certainly wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing,” Roberts said. “We believe we were always headed down the right path, we’ve just finally come to the conclusion that we’re not waiting any longer. That’s why we moved for termination last night.”

School authorities never notified parents of the alleged incident.

“We felt there was nothing in this man’s background to suggest he’d ever done anything inappropriate,” Roberts said. “We felt it was inappropriate enough to remove him from the school until we could do a thorough enough investigation, giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

Eggert’s defense attorney Daniel Hofmann declined to comment for this article.

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Local content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.