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Glendale teacher charged with secretly recording students changing

Police arrested former Independence HS teacher Monday

Posted 3/27/24

On Tuesday, the Glendale Police Department lead a press conference detailing the Monday afternoon arrest of a local high school teacher for his alleged setup of cameras to spy on students  while …

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Glendale teacher charged with secretly recording students changing

Police arrested former Independence HS teacher Monday


The Glendale Police Department lead a press conference on Tuesday detailing the Monday afternoon arrest of a local high school teacher for his alleged setup of cameras to spy on students  while they changed clothes.

Police arrested a now-former Independence High School teacher Estevan Carreon, 53, on March 25. He has been charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, four counts of voyeurism and four counts of surreptitious photography recording.

According to the police report, Carreon arranged for a meeting during spring break on March 18 with six students for extra credit. Before the students arrived, he set up three spy cameras in a changing room of the high school's media room, which is attached to Carreon's classroom.

A bit after 9 a.m., four female and two male students, ranging from 15 to 17 years old, who are members of the Independence media club met with Carreon in the media room, according to the report. While working on the media project, students would change into different outfits in the changing room.

Both male students were in the changing room, and one noticed a power charger plugged into an outlet just inside the door. He noticed a spy camera built into the device, removed it and mentioned it to the second male student.

According to the report, one of the boys hid the device, then both boys made all four girls aware of the situation without Carreon finding out.

Students then found two more hidden cameras in the room, and documented them with photos and videos.

“We know this is an issue elsewhere,” Glendale Police Sgt. Randy Stewart said during a press conference Tuesday. “The device in this particular case was a regular sized charging blocks with a pin-sized lens.”

According to the report, Carreon eventually noticed the power charger with the spy camera was gone. He accused the students of taking the cameras that belonged to "the janitor," and demanded the students return it.

After students denied having the cameras, Carreon, according to the report, told students he could go to jail for a long time if the cameras were not returned.

Students would not return the cameras, and watched as Carreon  took a third power charger with camera out of a clock. According to the report, students saw him remove the SD card and place it into a laptop.

The students were not allowed to see it and police later recovered this SD card with its contents deleted. Its contents were retrieved through a search warrant and are another angle of the same footage found in the power charger.

“The biggest thing is to have an open dialogue with your children and be honest about what we face in this world,” Stewart said Tuesday.

Carreon started taking students aside and talking to them individually, telling them to turn out their pockets and checking backpacks. But the student with the spy camera managed to leave school with it. 

Students informed their parents and the spy camera was collected as evidence.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found the camera contained multiple videos, some with female students in their bras. A 17-year-old student was recorded changing her shirt and pants and the video captured her in a state of complete undress.

Carreon has taught for more than 20 years and led the media club for two years. Students confirmed that the spy cameras were not used for any class projects.

Carreon was arrested at his Glendale residence March 25.

Independence is in the Glendale Union High School District. A district spokesperson stated that GUHSD is working with the Glendale Police regarding this matter.

"In accordance with policy, Glendale Union High School District cannot provide details regarding personnel matters; however, we can confirm that the teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending further action, has been relieved of all duties and has been arrested.  We are unable to provide any additional comments on this matter," stated Kim Mesquita, GUHSD administrator of community relations in an email.

Stewart said the district has been cooperative.

The following message was sent to Independence High School parents March 26:

Dear Independence Parents/Guardians:

We are writing to let you know that allegations of misconduct by a teacher were reported to the school administration of Independence High School. We immediately began working with the Glendale Police Department and placed the employee on leave pending further action, and the employee was relieved of all duties. 

The district emphasizes the importance of student safety and enforces a comprehensive background check for all employees, which includes fingerprint clearance and a third-party background check. The fingerprints are reviewed by the AZ Department of Public Safety and the FBI.

As mentioned, the district collaborates with local law enforcement to thoroughly investigate allegations of misconduct. In this instance, the administration worked alongside the Glendale Police Department, which has since made an arrest related to the allegations. Furthermore, the Glendale Police Department is in the process of notifying parents of the alleged victims.

Although the Glendale Union High School District and the school are unable to disclose any details on personnel issues and will not be able to provide additional comments on this matter, we remain dedicated to supporting our students. It is understood that during such times the need for additional support among young people can increase. Please know that our school’s administration and the IHS Social Worker are ready to extend the necessary support, resources and assistance to both students and parents. Should you need more information on available supports, please do not hesitate to contact us at 623-435-6100.