Alexander County ‘secret peeper’ charged with additional counts after photos of female student found

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ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- An Alexander County man facing more than 100 charges for secret peeping is facing two more counts after detectives found photos of a female elementary school student.

The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office says 32-year-old Michael Justin Childers took the images at a school function at Ellendale Elementary School in September 2017. The photo was taken inside of a classroom with other students.

Detectives say there is no known physical or sexual contact with the victim.

Childers has been charged with one count of felony secret peeping, one count of felony possession of secret peeping material, and one count of felony indecent liberties with a minor.

Childers was not employed by Alexander County Schools at this time, but was on campus for a school function. Sheriff Bowman has notified school authorities and the parent of the victim.

The suspect is already facing 53 counts of felony secret peeping and nine counts of felony indecent liberties with a minor on warrants from the Taylorsville Police Department and 55 counts of felony possession of secret peeping material and two counts of felony secret peeping from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.

Childers was given an additional $30,000 bond for these charges, bringing his total bond amount to $1,380,000. His first appearance is now set for Monday , March 15.

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On Friday, FOX 46 learned a man accused of ‘secret peeping’ on children in Alexander County is now facing more charges in connection to incidents at a second elementary school where he once worked.

Michael Childers, 32, is facing new charges after new evidence emerged Friday. The former custodian for Wittenburg Elementary was arrested back in December, accused of peeping on staff at the school. Investigators do not believe he recorded any school children.

Childers is facing more than 100 counts of peeping and police tell FOX 46 some of the victims are as young as 8-years-old. FOX 46 was able to confront Childers face-to-face on Friday.

FOX 46 investigative reporter Matt Grant confronted Childers about the allegations as he was brought in to face new charges. Childers was handcuffed, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit.

“Do you have anything to say for yourself? Were you recording little kids?” FOX 46’s Matt Grant asked the suspect. “The Sheriff says these kids were 8 and 10-years-old. Why were you doing it?”

Childers looked straight ahead and did not respond. The former custodian for Wittenburg Elementary School was arrested in Dec. 2020, accused of installing a hidden camera in the employee bathroom.

Investigators do not believe he videotaped any children at that specific school.

On Friday, new evidence and new charges surfaced. The Sheriff’s Office found hundreds of videos Childers allegedly recorded at a local Walmart while he worked there from 2016 to 2019.

“There’s hundreds and hundreds of photos and videos,” Bowman said. “It’s very disturbing.”

The videos were apparently taken up the skirts of shoppers by a hidden camera hidden in a mop.

“Things like this could lead into more dangerous situations for kids and grown-ups,” Sheriff Chris Bowman said.

The sheriff says if he is convicted, he faces a lengthy prison sentence.

Bowman told FOX 46 this was a joint investigation with Taylorsville Police. Childers was arrested again on Thursday after authorities found the videos and photos on his computer.

“Oh it’s many years. Many years. Many years,” he said. “Definitely, it makes us feel good to be able to get a person of the street that has been charged with these kind of offenses.”

The Sheriff said if he’s convicted, Childers faces a lengthy prison sentence.

FOX 46 chief legal correspondent Seema Iyer says in a case like this Childers, if convicted, could face consecutive sentences that would likely be in the “double digits.”

Childers’ bond was raised to $1.35 million. He is set to appear before a judge on Monday.

FOX 46 reached out to Walmart and the Alexander County School District for comment but did not immediately hear back.

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