A former staffer at Renaissance Secondary School in Castle Rock has been arrested for allegedly recording clandestine mobile phone videos revealing up-skirt images of at least three juvenile victims.
Steven Michael Jenkins, 54, who was arrested Friday, faces three counts of sexual exploitation of a child. He appeared in a Douglas County courtroom on Monday morning at an advisement hearing.
On Dec. 3, Castle Rock police were dispatched to the school, 3954 Trail Boss Lane, where Debbie Rabideau, the principal, reported that a staff member “had been using their phone inappropriately,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Two students had reported to Rabideau that they saw Jenkins taking inappropriate photos or videos up the skirts of unaware students. Jenkins allegedly held his phone at a low and odd angles to capture the illicit images.
The acts allegedly happened between Aug. 20 and October.
Jenkins has been in education for 29 years, including five years at Castle View High School. He started at Renaissance in August as an “instructional coach.” Jenkins described himself to an investigator as an assistant principal.
On Dec. 4, Officer Adam Elliott met the suspect at the school in Jenkins’ office. Elliott told Jenkins he had reports that threatening texts has been sent to someone from Jenkins’ phone. Elliott asked if he could see the phone to look at the text-message string, according to the affidavit.
Jenkins agreed and handed Elliott the phone. Elliott gave Jenkins a “permission to search a cellphone” form, which Jenkins signed. Jenkins told Elliott he had nothing to hide, according to the affidavit.
Elliott then asked about allegations of “some pictures that he should not have” taken of students. Jenkins said he had not taken such photos or videos.
Jenkins told Elliott, according to the affidavit, that he “had taken a couple of pictures of students, but nothing inappropriate.”
As Elliott pulled up the video app on the phone, he spotted thumbnail images that “appeared to have been filmed at unusual angles.” Jenkins said the of the camera: “Sometimes it goes off accidentally.”
Elliott clicked open a video, and Jenkins suddenly reached for the phone to take it back. Elliott told Jenkins he was going to keep the phone as evidence.
Jenkins then told the officer about several suspect images on the phone including:
- Allegedly accidental, inappropriate videos of adult women who Jenkins didn’t know.
- The videos might appear to show “up their skirt and underwear.”
- The videos were made randomly in different places, including a museum in Denver.
- He and a female friend were “doing something stupid and messing around.”
Elliott gave Jenkins a business card and told him he’d be hearing from detectives in the near future. He seized Jenkins’ cellphone and school-issued laptop computer.
Renaissance, a Douglas County charter school, serves grades six through 10 this school year, with a plan of adding a grade each year until 2019, when it will reach capacity with grades six through 12. Jenkins has been fired by the school.
Investigators say they’ve found about 20 videos with images of 10 “adult women from under their skirts/dresses and showed their buttocks and underwear.”
Three student victims have been identified, according to the affidavit. “Jenkins succeeded or attempted to videotape these three juveniles under their skirts/dresses for sexual gratification.”
Bail has been set at $5,000. A court hearing for filing of charges is scheduled for Jan. 12.