MURRAY — Records supplied by the Calloway County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Friday seem to shed a little more light into the Thursday arrest of a longtime Murray High School teacher and coach.
The complaint warrant for the case of Mark Boggess, 53, of Murray, indicates that video equipment he allegedly placed in a manner that could record what was happening inside a bathroom on the campus had been in operation since as early as January. It also seems to show that the equipment was removed from that position each day.
According to the warrant, Murray Police Department Detective Andrew Wiggins was requested to go to the campus sometime Thursday after MPD had received a call that a recording device had been located in the bathroom of the nurse’s station. Upon arrival at the campus, Wiggins said he spoke with MHS Principal Teresa Speed, who told him that a school employee had located what was described as an “odd white box” on top of a box fan Wednesday.
Speed told Wiggins that the employee had intended to return to that location to see what was inside the box, but became busy with other duties. Thursday, that employee said they saw the same box attached to the underside of a projector screen. After informing Speed, they both grabbed the box and saw there was a flap on the side of it.
The warrant says that flap revealed controls on the side of a plastic case and what appeared to be an SD card was inserted in it. In addition, they noticed a hole in the front of the box and realized that the device was, in fact, a video camera. They then removed the SD card and viewed its contents.
The room where the camera was in place is known to be where some students change their clothes to prepare for sports events or practices. The warrant said the contents of the SD card showed two students at separate times, one female, one male, with private parts exposed.
In addition, the warrant also said the video showed a teacher at the school, later identified as Boggess, in the process of setting up the camera in the room.
With this information, Wiggins said he asked Boggess, also the school’s track and field coach, to come to MPD headquarters for an interview. Boggess agreed, adding that “he believed he knew why I wanted to talk to him, and he said it was because of the camera,” Wiggins states in the warrant.
The warrant said Boggess admitted to placing the camera in the bathroom to record students while they used the bathroom. The document also says Boggess told Wiggins that he got the idea for using the camera after watching a video of sports media personality Erin Andrews unknowingly being filmed while she was naked in a Nashville, Tennessee hotel room in 2008.
“Boggess provided the names of six females that he knows that he has recorded in the bathroom,” Wiggins states in the warrant. “He also said there is one male that was recorded.”
Of those students, the warrant says that three of them were 17 when they were filmed. The other four are 18 or older.
The warrant also said Boggess told Wiggins that he would remove the device each day, then watch the videos on his school-issued laptop computer at home before deleting them. The contents of the SD card seized Thursday were viewed by police, and the warrant showed multiple students in the bathroom at different times.
Boggess is charged with three counts of possession or viewing of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and four counts of voyeurism, which is for the victims that have been identified so far.
Boggess was then taken to the Calloway County Jail. Boggess was no longer listed as an inmate Friday afternoon. His bond had been set at $25,000.
Murray Independent School District Superintendent Coy Samons said Boggess is currently suspended with pay pending further examination.
Boggess is scheduled for his arraignment at 9 a.m. May 14 in Calloway District Court.
Individuals facing charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty.