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Police: Camera found in girls’ bathroom at Premier Athletics in Franklin

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Posted at 11:00 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 21:08:56-05

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF)  — Police said they’re investigating after a GoPro camera was found inside a girls’ bathroom at Premier Athletics in Franklin.

According to a release, the facility's general manager found the hidden camera and turned it in on Thursday. Police said the camera has been linked to an employee of the business and charges are forthcoming. We will not be releasing the suspect's name until he's formally charged.

Investigators said they are reviewing video that was captured and stored on the camera and they're working with management to identify the victims. Once identified, detectives said parents will be notified and contacted by police.

John Woelk is livid because his daughter trains at the facility."No little kid should have to go through this period," Woelk said, "It's heartbreaking for the little girls."

Premier Athletics reached out to parents in an email saying the employee, they believe to be involved, is no longer with the company. "I was just dumbfounded when I found out, especially because I knew him... talked to the guy several times, I’ve known him since I’ve been coming to the gym up here so it’s very unfortunate, but what do you do?" Woelk said.

Franklin detectives are now combing through footage and developing a case. Lt. Charlie Warner said, "Obviously there’s a heinous crime that’s been committed, and heinous material out there, we worked hard to secure that so that it’s not out there, and now we’ve got to go through the tedious process of identifying the girls who have been victimized."

The gym is a place where students from places like Brentwood and Centennial High School train with their club for competitions. Warner said, "It’s a huge violation of trust."

As the evidence is gathered, and victims are notified, families are left wondering if their daughter was photographed in the restroom. "It’s an isolated incident hopefully,” Woelk said, “I hope to God it is."

In the email to parents, Premier Athletics said they will now have Williamson County K-9 officers sweep the area for hidden electronic devices. They also noted they do background checks on all employees. Parents can share information they may have about this case by emailing Franklin Police at concern@franklintn.gov.