Scott D. Studer, the Jackson High School employee and freshman basketball coach accused of videotaping at least 60 identified boys in the locker room showers, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Municipal Court Wednesday morning.
An unshaven Scott D. Studer entered Municipal Court with his hands bound in front of him and bags beneath his eyes.
Studer, facing six second-degree felony charges, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a week after police executed a search warrant on his 5141 Pin Oak Drive NW home and found evidence that the former Jackson High School freshman basketball coach had videotaped at least 60 boys in the locker room showers over several years.
Judge Edward Elum bound the case over to a Stark County grand jury and continued the $2 million bond set Thursday. It could take four to six weeks for the grand jury to indict.
Studer, 46, sat inside a jury box that he shared with a throng of local media. Cameramen, standing behind Studer, reached forward to photograph and record his every move.
As camera shutters snapped, Studer sat quietly, only speaking when defense attorney James Haupt consulted him. Studer kept his eyes set on Elum, occasionally looking down at his feet until being called in front of the judge.
As Studer walked toward his attorney, he scanned the crowded courtroom, barely glancing at least two families on hand for the hearing.
Asked by Elum if he understood that he was waiving his right to the hearing, Studer quietly replied, “Yes, your honor.”
Studer, the longtime school district employee, was arrested Nov. 14 after Jackson police and federal agents with the U.S. Postal Service executed a search warrant on his home in the early morning hours. They discovered that Studer had downloaded the images to a DVD, a laptop and a flash drive.
The search warrant of Studer’s home was issued as part of an ongoing federal child pornography investigation. No federal charges have been filed, only state charges involving the locker room videotapes.
At least one basketball player and his family were in Judge Elum’s courtroom Wednesday, but declined to comment both before and after Studer’s appearance. Another couple also declined comment on their way out of the court.
Prosecutor John Simpson said the charges will likely change once the case is presented to the grand jury. He said the counts are based on the number of years in which Studer is believed to have captured video of members of the boys basketball team. The charges could be amended to reflect the number of victims.
“They will wait and present the whole case to the grand jury,” Simpson said. “I suspect more charges ... once it is presented to the grand jury. The way they set it up, they filed each year they thought he was involved, as opposed to the number of victims. They really had not identified all of the victims.”
Simpson said he did not have any new information on the case Wednesday morning.
Page 2 of 2 - “They are still looking at the video and trying to identify victims,” he said. “As of this morning that number was 60. They’re looking at those (videos). I still think they have a lot of work ahead of them.”