A former substitute teacher in the Van Buren School District was sentenced to five years of supervised probation Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of video voyeurism in Crawford County Circuit Court.
Keith Wayne Dickens, 43, of Van Buren was accused of using his cellphone to take pictures of two second-grade boys in a bathroom at Tate Elementary School on Jan. 8, 2013, according to a Crawford County Sheriff’s Office report.
The boys told a teacher someone took pictures of them with a phone from under a bathroom stall, and the teacher saw Dickens coming out of the bathroom after the boys told her what happened, according to the report.
The teacher told authorities she thought it was odd because it’s not common for teachers to use the children’s restrooms.
Dickens agreed to go to the sheriff’s office for an interview and told investigators he went to the children’s restroom because another restroom down the hall was being used, according to the report.
When he was told investigators were getting a warrant for his phone, Dickens said he was on the Internet and dropped his phone and it was possible he accidentally took a picture while trying to catch the phone.
After further questioning, Dickens admitted taking a picture of the boys but said he only did it because they were being loud and running and he intended to report them to their teacher, according to the report.
When asked why he deleted the photo and did not talk to the teacher, Dickens did not answer.
After agreeing to take a lie-detector test, Dickens was informed it showed he was deceptive when he told investigators he did not take the photo for sexual gratification, according to the report.
Dickens must register as a sex offender, continue in counseling and is prohibited from having any contact, directly or indirectly, with a child through any social media.