A former Loudoun County Public Schools employee was sentenced this week to two years in the Virginia Department of Corrections for three felony convictions of unlawful filming, videotaping or photographing, according to the commonwealth's attorney's office.
Samuel Hermens, 31, an itinerant LCPS employee, was observed filming female students in the hallways of Woodgrove High School on Oct. 26, 2018. He would follow behind the students closely and position his camera under their skirts in an attempt to film their undergarments, as confirmed by video surveillance from the school.
Hermens later admitted to filming the students during an interview with a Loudoun County detective, and he revealed that he had engaged in similar activity at two other Loudoun County high schools.
Hermens pleaded guilty to the charges on April 22. He appeared before Judge Douglas L. Fleming, Jr. in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on Wednesday.
Four of the juvenile victims testified at the hearing.
“I never thought this would happen to me. Why would someone ever think of doing this?” one of the girls said.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Wittman urged the court to impose a sentence that would send the community a message.
“This man is a predator and he was going to do this until he got caught,” Wittman said in a prepared statement. “When we send our children to school, we expect they will be safe, nurtured and protected by teachers and administrators.”
In addition to two years of penitentiary time, Judge Fleming imposed an additional four years of suspended time. Upon release, Hermens will be placed on 15 years of unsupervised probation. Hermens will also be required to register as a sex offender, in accordance with Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act.