PARMA, N.Y. (WROC) — The mother of a student at the Close School of Music in the town of Parma is speaking out after police arrested the owner for unlawful surveillance.
Police say Philip Close, the owner of the Close School of Music, used a camera to record people in the bathroom at his business. Close was arrested and charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance, a Class E felony.
Paula Bertram was dropping off her son for lessons Monday night when she heard the news. She called the allegations shocking.
“It’s sad that it had to happen and horrible cause its young kids,” said Paula Bertram.
Police say it was a parent of a student that found the camera in a unisex bathroom at the close school of music.
They say a camera found under a bathroom sink was used to quote “record unsuspecting persons naked and using the bathroom.”
“We did recover the camera that was found in bathroom…..and we did record more cameras. what was used for surveillance…..and what was used for unlawful surveillance we won’t know until we get into the data we hope to have discovered,” said Sgt. Michael Thomas, with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
The Close School of Music open in 2016 and served students of all ages.
Paula Bertram’s son has been taking piano lessons there for months. She said students were taught in another room with the door closed, something she found strange.
“I think that little red flag in your head always listen to it. We even remember last year, I told my husband the set up is a little weird. It be nice if it was a little more open environment where I could see him, hear him,” said Bertram.
“There’s other teachers that I know that are here. You know, hopefully, no one else was involved but it’s just a horrible thing, that you can’t trust that your children is safe ,” said Bertram.
The school has been closed since that arrest. Bertram said that she will try to use this as a learning lesson to teach her son about trust and right from wrong.
Police are trying to build a list of potential clients who may have been affected.
They ask anyone who might know more to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office of records unit at 585-753-4175