LOWELL, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – Police say a Norton High School custodian is facing charges for allegedly trying to take lewd photos of an unsuspecting young girl in Lowell, and this was not the first time.
Frederick Withers, 58, of Foxborough, has allegedly been using his cell phone to take secret photos of young girls, some of which are obscene.
The most recent case involves an 11-year-old girl who went with her family to an annual summer festival along the Merrimack River in Lowell last weekend. The young girl was standing along a wall when she allegedly began talking with Withers.
The girl's father, who was standing only a few feet behind, says he saw Withers take out a camera and place it directly under his daughter's skirt. It appeared he was taking pictures, police said.
The man was able to detain Withers and reportedly prevent him from throwing his cell phone into the river.
When officers arrived, they seized Withers' camera and found 37 photos and videos shot up the skirts of young girls. The photos and videos were taken in very public places, including Faneuil Hall in Boston, reports police.
Withers has been working around young women at Norton High School for three decades; however, Norton's Superintendent Joe Baeta told FOX 25 he has never received a complaint about Withers, but is taking the situation very seriously.
"This is an unfortunate situation. We are still gathering information on our end, and the school resource officer, police department and high school principal will meet tomorrow to make sure we're following internal procedures for notifying the public and keeping families in the loop," Baeta said.
Withers was placed on leave and is not allowed on school grounds. He pleaded not guilty to several charges Monday and is being held without bail until Wednesday when he will be released on the condition he wears a GPS monitoring bracelet and stick to a curfew.