JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The former Onslow County Schools teacher charged with secretly recording students, some in various stages of undress, had his first court appearance on Monday.

Stephen Bera, who has resigned as a teacher at New Bridge Middle School after his arrest, is facing multiple counts of secretly recording students and installing a recording device in his classroom. In his first court appearance on Monday, WNCT’s Claire Curry reports Bera was given a court-appointed lawyer and ordered to appear in court again on May 23.

Jacksonville Police Chief Michael G. Yaniero said last Friday there were at least 19 counts issued against Bera for secretly recording. However, the investigation is in the early stages, so just how many students were impacted and how long the recordings were done is unclear.

Stephen Bera (Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

Friday evening, new charges were brought against Bera. At the time, ten children were identified as victims in the case. Warrants were obtained for the additional charges.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said the next step is to wait for the law enforcement reports on Bera.

“These are class I felonies, which means that with no prior record, with no prior record, it is a community-based punishment, which means no active sentence,” Lee said.