There may be as many as 20 victims of the Loudoun County Public Schools employee accused of unlawfully filming female students, a Loudoun County Sheriff's Office detective said in court Friday.
Samuel Hermens, 30, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, is accused of taking cell phone pictures and videos of high school cheerleaders in their uniforms at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville. He was charged with three felony counts of unlawful filming on Oct. 26 after a school resource officer reported the suspected filming to law enforcement.
Hermens was employed as a specialized reading instructor who worked with teachers across various Loudoun County schools. He is currently on leave without pay from LCPS.
On Friday morning, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Sincavage denied bond for the accused.
During the bond hearing, LCSO detective Shannon Coderre said she was told by LCPS officials – who have been reviewing security footage since Hermens' arrest – that there may be as many as 20 victims.
Coderre, along with the commonwealth's prosecutor and even Hermens' attorney, Matthew Snow, painted a picture of a man struggling with mental illness who could not control his urge to take pictures and video of teenage girls.
A father of two, Hermens told law enforcement he was glad he got caught because he was afraid his actions and urges may escalate to more severe crimes.
The sheriff's office detective further said Hermens told her watching the videos of students wasn't necessarily the motivation, but the act of walking behind girls in their cheerleader outfits and filming them was the thrill.
Judge Sincavage denied the bond motion, expressing concerns about Hermens harming himself and members of society. Unrelated to his arrest, Hermens previously tried to overdose on pills, but his wife found him and took him to the hospital, where he recovered for several days.
Snow argued that should Hermens be granted bond, he and his wife would be moving in with Hermens' parents in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The wife said she had no concerns about Hermens being near their children, ages 3 and 15 months, and that her husband would receive counseling and therapy should he be released on bond.
Sincavage said there is fairly obvious probable cause that Hermens could be a harm to himself or society, noting specifically his comments relating to teenage- and college-age women and that he couldn't control his actions.
Hermens' wife and members of the Christ Reform Church in Martinsburg, where Mr. and Mrs. Hermens were active congregants, were in the courtroom for the hearing.
Loudoun County Public Schools officials said Hermens' "job was to coach teachers at Banneker, Culbert, Emerick, Hamilton, Lincoln, Lovettsville, Mountain View, Round Hill and Waterford elementary schools."
Hermens returns to Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on Dec. 20.