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Disturbed softball coach confesses to filming athletes in locker room via hidden trash can camera

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In a disturbing incident which brings many parents' nightmares to life, an Oklahoma high school softball coach has been arrested for secretly taping his athletes partially naked in the team's locker room with cameras he hid in locker room trash cans.

As reported by Tulsa Fox affiliate KOKI, Sapulpa (Okla.) High softball coach Howard Harjo was arrested for using electronic or video equipment in a lewd manner and child pornography in connection with filming the student athletes he coached while they were nude. According to KOKI and a police affidavit from Sapulpa Police, Harjo confessed to placing a camera in the locker room trash can for the explicit purpose of filming girls for his own sexual gratification.

A school employee found a camera in the trash can and reported the incident to police, who then investigated and discovered two cameras in the same trash can facing a bathroom stall. Harjo, who has coached softball at Sapulpa since 2008 but is not a teacher at the school, was arrested shortly after the cameras were discovered and confessed to the crime shortly thereafter. Further search of his home uncovered numerous videos of teenage girls in the bathroom stall, some of which showed Harjo manipulating the cameras to train them directly on the stall so it would capture the students in the nude.

"Right now we have to process a lot of the evidence and we have a lot," Sapulpa Police Captain Bret Bowling told KOKI. … "The cameras were placed in a position to record the girls as they were partially undressed.

"There is a possibility that it could be other locations but right now we cannot confirm that."

While Harjo gave little fight against his arrest after the cameras were discovered, the school district immediately rallied to try and ease concerns that there were cameras anywhere outside the ones discovered in the bathroom stalls. Sapulpa Superintendent Dr. Mary Webb issued a statement coming clean about the situation and making sure that parents realized counselors would be available for any students who wanted to speak to them.

Meawhile, both Webb and parents sounded notes of disgust with Harjo's action, as they noted to KOKI.

"It's very sickening," said Sapulpa parent Stephanie Brown. […]

"It's just sickening I can't imagine how the parents and the girls themselves feel so violated," said Brown.

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