Crime

Teacher’s wife found video of girl using a restroom. More found on Kentucky school’s tablet.

Webster County jail

New details emerged during a preliminary hearing in the case against a former Lyon County Middle School employee accused of placing a recording device in a school bathroom to capture videos of underage girls.

Michael Derek McCuiston’s charges include five counts of installing an eavesdropping device in Lyon County and one count of tampering with evidence in Webster County, where he was arrested at his home on April 20. All charges are Class D felonies.

McCuiston, 33, served as the physical education teacher for the elementary and middle schools, as well as high school boys soccer coach, and high school boys and girls track coach. He resigned from his position immediately following the criminal complaint of alleged sexual exploitation.

Detective Lloyd Ray with the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crimes Branch testified at the hearing in Lyon County District Court Wednesday.

He said, after law enforcement officials received an anonymous tip about McCuiston, they interviewed McCuiston’s wife, Jeri McCuiston.

“She (Jeri McCuiston) advised us that she had located some images on his cell phone approximately a few weeks prior to us meeting with her on that evening, and she described the videos .... of an underage female-- or she (who she) believed to be an underage female-- using the restroom,” Ray stated.

Detectives then acquired a search warrant for Michael McCuiston’s home and located the device used. According to the April 20 police report, the day McCuiston was arrested at his home in Providence, McCuiston attempted to alter his phone when law enforcement arrived. That alleged action led to the charge in Webster County.

In addition to McCuiston’s phone, Ray said detectives gathered other evidence during a search in McCuiston’s office at the school.

“We recovered two videos from his tablet that was recovered out of his office at school,” Ray said. “The superintendent and the IT department with the school locked down his office because the equipment in that office belonged to them.”

The tablet was seized from McCuiston’s office, and the evidence was turned over to authorities.

District Judge Natalie White determined Wednesday there was probable cause to move forward with the charges.

McCuiston’s case will now be turned over to a Lyon County grand jury, most likely during its June session.

Ray said the investigation continues, and additional charges could be filed against McCuiston in Lyon County.

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