Former SoRo High principal reaches plea deal in hidden camera voyeurism cases
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Saying “I’ll take the deal,” the former principal of the South Royalton High School who secretly videotaped a teenaged exchange student and her female friends with an array of tiny cameras hidden in everyday objects reached a plea agreement with the state on Tuesday afternoon.
Dean Stearns, 56, of South Royalton, who in years past headed up the VoTech center in Hartford and served as a captain on their professional fire department, pled guilty to two felony counts of making recordings of a sexual nature of underaged girls and to five misdemeanor counts of voyeurism.
Stearns had been facing three dozen similar charges, six of them felonies, after he was first arrested in November of last year when a young teenage girl uncovered the cameras that had been hidden in her room at Stearns’ home and contacted authorities.
Although Stearns will not be formally sentenced for some months, and he remains free on his pre-trial release conditions in the meantime, the outlines of the plea deal call for an overall 10-to-15 year prison sentence with most, and even perhaps all, of that time suspended.
Some time next year, when Stearns’ “contested” sentencing hearing is eventually held, the state will be “capped” in their arguments at a maximum of five years for Stearns to serve while his defense attorney will be allowed to try and persuade the judge to lower that minimum.
Some of Stearns’ victims and their parents are also expected to speak to the judge at that final sentencing hearing.
Windsor County Deputy State's Attorney Heidi Remick spoke to reporters after Tuesday's hearing
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