Norman Merrill, 45, a teacher at Green Mountain High School in Chester, faces up to 30 years in prison after his May 19 arrest for production and possession of child pornography.
Merrill is listed as an eighth grade language arts teacher on the school website.
Merrill is expected to appear before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle tomorrow. The government has filed a motion requesting Merrill be detained pending trial.
According to court records, on May 7, officers from the Chester Police Department received reports concerning potential voyeurism occurring at Merrill’s home. The investigation uncovered allegations of a hidden recording device in a bathroom at Merrill’s home, and that Merrill appeared to surreptitiously record young girls who were walking in front of him while at Green Mountain High School, where he is employed as a teacher.
Chester police obtained search warrants for Merrill’s home and electronics. The search warrants were executed on May 11, and Chester police seized numerous electronic devices, including “pinhole cameras” and a “spy camera.”
The Vermont State Police conducted a preliminary examination of a memory card seized from the residence which revealed numerous voyeuristic videos taken in bathrooms. Some of these videos were taken in a bathroom of defendant Merrill’s residence and were determined to depict nude minor female children. The memory card also contained image files that appear to be screen-captures created from these videos of nude minors.
On May 19, the federal grand jury in Burlington returned an Indictment charging Merrill with production of child sexual abuse material, attempted production of child sexual abuse material, and possession of child sexual abuse material. If convicted of all charges, Merrill faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years of imprisonment, and a maximum sentence of 30 years of imprisonment.