A former employee of Grove City College in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty Jan. 8 to one count of sexual abuse of children and 11 counts of invasion of privacy. According to a local news report, Robert Audia is accused of taking dozens of photos and videos with his cell phone in the school’s locker room while he was the college’s assistant sports information director.
Many of the photos are reportedly of undressed students. However, local media reported that coaches, alumni and staff also make up some of the 76 police-identified victims. Originally, Audia faced about 100 criminal counts, with charges ranging from possession of child pornography, sexual abuse of children, invasion of privacy and tampering with evidence. Media reports indicate that all of the victims who were able to be identified were notified before the initial hearing, and none of the videos or images found on Audia’s electronic devices were posted on the internet.
Some similar cases have resulted in both criminal and civil charges
The accusations against Audia began with reports from two football players, two soccer players and two students in a fitness program. Media coverage did not clarify why so many suspicious instances needed to be reported before Audia was stopped.
Local news reports also did not indicate if Audia’s actions have led to a civil lawsuit against Grove City College in addition to the criminal charges against Audia personally. However, in other instances, institutions that failed to prevent hidden cameras or sexual abuse were held accountable for the harm caused.
The exploitation, violated privacy and betrayal of trust that result from a hidden camera, can cause significant damage to the victims, and even more damage can result from sexual abuse. This is why it is important that victims receive justice, and those who are responsible are held accountable to the full extent of the law.