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Beecher music teacher charged with videotaping minor

December 4, 2018

Daily Journal staff

BEECHER — James F. Vidmar, a music teacher for Beecher schools, has been charged with unauthorized videotaping of a person younger than age 18 after hidden cameras were found in the high school last month.

According to media reports, Vidmar was arrested Nov. 30. He bonded out the next day paying 10 percent of the $500,000 bond set by a judge. He is scheduled to be in court Thursday.

Vidmar, who has taught at Beecher for 14 years, is alleged to have recorded a minor who was in a changing room at the high school between Oct. 1 and 16. The felony charge carries a two- to five-year prison sentence if found guilty.

The 44-year-old Vidmar, of Mokena, was suspended without pay Nov. 26 following a special board meeting, according to a letter sent to district parents by Superintendent Bradley Cox.

Three unauthorized, hidden video cameras were discovered in the small rooms and offices around the perimeter of the music room.

Police were contacted by school staff after the cameras were discovered.

No cameras were found at the junior high.

Initially, Vidmar was placed on administrative leave Nov. 15.

He was arrested and charged with criminal trespass Nov. 16 after he was found on school grounds, according to Beecher police.

Part of the terms of his leave was Vidmar was prohibited from returning to school district property. He posted the required bond and was released pending a court appearance.

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