A Palmerton man who allegedly tried to take a video of a teenage girl changing clothes in a bathroom at Palmerton Area High School has had his charges bound over to Carbon County Court.
Robert Eckhart, 41, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Wednesday before District Judge William Kissner of Palmerton.
Instead, Eckhart decided to waive his right to the hearing, and will appear for a pretrial status conference at 8:30 a.m. July 3 in the district attorney's office at the courthouse in Jim Thorpe.
Eckhart faces charges of photograph/film/depict on computer sex act involving a child, a felony; contact by communication with a minor sexual abuse, a felony; and invasion of privacy, a misdemeanor.
He remains free in lieu of $100,000 unsecured bail.
Eckhart had served as a volunteer football coach for the past three seasons and was active in helping students in all sports with weight training.
He was arrested by state police at Lehighton barracks as a result of an incident that happened on Feb. 8, in the weight lifting room of Palmerton Area High School.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by State Trooper Erin Snyder:
Eckhart admitted to Snyder that he had set up a cellphone in the bathroom of the weight lifting room, with the intent to obtain video of the victim "in various stages of undress," according to the affidavit.
The weight lifting room is open in some off-school hours, including Saturday mornings, to athletes of various sports for weight training, the affidavit says.
Snyder said that the victim had been contacted numerous times, via text messages, by the defendant "requesting to know the exact time" she was going to arrive at the school the morning of Feb. 8.
She was also instructed, according to the affidavit, to use a specific bathroom to change into her workout attire. It was then that she discovered a blue iPhone, with a black case, strategically placed, behind the toilet seat, in a unisex bathroom.
The cellphone was in video mode.
The female contacted school officials on Feb. 10, who in turn, reported the incident to state police.