HONESDALE—Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) arrested Gaspare Michola Gambino, 34 of Honesdale, Wednesday morning, January 10 on 14 counts of Invasion of Privacy, a Misdemeanor of the second degree.
The accused was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge (MDJ) Linus Myers Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
Bail was set at $10,000 and conditional upon Gambino surrendering his passport and having no unsupervised contact with minors.
He is set to appear in Central Court on Wednesday January 17.
PSP alleged Gambino, while working as a Spanish Teacher in the Wayne Highlands School District (WHSD), photographed and videotaped “the intimate parts” of 14 female students. The students were clothed.
According to a press release from the Wayne County District Attorney's (DA) Office, “The photographs were all close ups of girls breasts and private areas under their skirts and dresses.”
The DA's release notes all the pictures were taken in Gambino's classroom and known school surroundings, some even from a seated position at his desk.
DA Pat Robinson stated in a release, “These allegations are very disturbing and will be vigorously pursued.
"The Pennsylvania Legislature addressed this very situation when it amended the Invasion of Privacy section of the Crimes code in 2005.”
Discovery of the pictures was made on September 19, 2017.
According to a release from the WHSD, the district became aware of the situation the following day and Gambino was suspended on Thursday September 21, 2017 “ ... 'with pay pending' the Pennsylvania State Police and District investigation.”
The release further states, “The District has taken this matter seriously and has/will fully cooperate with all investigative agencies.”
According to the affidavit of investigating officer Gregory Allen, the discovery of said photos was made by a 14-year old male in one of Gambino's Spanish classes.
The adolescent had forgotten his school-issued iPad that day which was needed for a project.
Gambino allowed said minor to make use of his own school-issued iPad which had the necessary programming for the student to complete his task.
The affidavit states the student finished the project and proceed to access Google Drive from the iPad to begin work on another assignment.
Believing he was logged into his own account, the student opened the photos tab where he discovered the pictures.
“The student advised that he recognized one of the girls from the clothing in the photo. The student described these photos as being taken in the classroom,” states the affidavit.
It further mentions “... [the student] showed other students in the class and confided in them as to how he should report this incident to school administration.”
Students reported the incident after the school day had ended and administration seized Gambino's iPad and other technology.
PSP served a search warrant to Google, Inc. on October 24, 2017 for all necessary account access related to the alleged invasions of privacy.
The affidavit states Google documentation showed Gambino attempted to delete the photos in question after having been placed on administrative leave.