A Westhampton Middle School gym teacher has admitted to secretly filming girls in a locker room with a hidden cell phone earlier this year.

Thomas Sheppard pleaded guilty Wednesday at Suffolk County court to eight charges, including unlawful surveillance and endangering the welfare of a minor.

“It was clear to us from the beginning the recording of these girls was not inadvertent as the defendant first claimed,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said. “His appalling betrayal of these teenagers will also result in the surrender of his teaching license.”

Judge Barbara Kahn is expected to sentence the 28-year-old Speonk man Dec. 18 to five years of probation. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutors said they will recommend he be sentenced to the maximum of one and one-third to four years in prison.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.