A former Checotah Public Schools Information Technology specialist faces multiple charges after he allegedly filmed himself masturbating inside a school and touched a 17-year-old student, said McIntosh County Assistant District Attorney David Pierce.
Jeremy Lewis Hayes, 29, was charged Thursday with sexual battery and indecent exposure, as well as computer fraud and unlawful use of computer systems and giving a minor alcohol, Pierce said.
“While he was working at the school, he inappropriately touched in the vaginal area of one of the students at the school when she was 17,” Pierce said. “He filmed himself masturbating at the school while the school was in session; he was in one of the classrooms, but there were other students in the school at the time.”
The charges follow a prior charge of knowingly receiving stolen property after Hayes allegedly returned to the school Nov. 2 and stole hard drives, flash drives, laptops and other equipment from the school’s computer lab, Pierce said.
“The day after he resigned, he went and got with one of the janitors and they let him back into the computer room and he stole a bunch of computer equipment, I think to delete evidence,” Pierce said. “He was using computer equipment for Bitcoin transactions and filming himself masturbating. We also found pictures of young children in various states of undress on the computer. He also manipulated and disabled the cameras so they couldn’t see him stealing the property.”
Hayes resigned after a child reported Hayes was using Snapchat to communicate with them, according to affidavit filed with the case. The affidavit, written by Checotah Police Officer Casey Fairchild, alleges this was part of a pattern of behavior in which Hayes reached out and began speaking with fifth-grade students via social media.
“While reading messages I noticed that Jeremy was talking to very young children early on in his employment with Checotah Public Schools,” Fairchild writes. “While Jeremy never proposed illicit acts with any of the children, he would tell certain ones how he cared for them or that he loved them.”
The affidavit states that a search of the hard drives in question produced videos of Hayes masturbating in the Checotah Elementary Library, screenshots and videos of teenagers, and pictures of infants and young children in states of undress.
“While going through data from Jeremy’s electronics, I found pictures of babies or small children in bath tubs,” Fairchild writes. “Jeremy did not have any children, but had numerous amounts of pictures of small children or babies naked.”
Hayes was released on $5,000 bond following his Nov. 4 arrest in relation to knowingly concealing stolen property. A warrant has since been issued for his arrest in relation to the new charges.