January 29, 2023
Ex-teacher at college in Chester reaches plea deal, faces 10 years for possessing little one sex-abuse supplies
Ex-teacher at college in Chester reaches plea deal, faces 10 years for possessing little one sex-abuse supplies
Norman Merrill. Courtesy picture

A former instructor at Inexperienced Mountain Union Excessive College in Chester has pleaded responsible to possession of kid sexual abuse supplies and faces as much as 10 years in jail when he’s sentenced subsequent 12 months.

Norman Merrill II, 46, of Chester entered his responsible plea to the federal cost Tuesday throughout a video listening to held by U.S. District Courtroom in Burlington. His plea take care of prosecutors requires Choose Christina Reiss to impose the jail time period and a lifetime of supervised launch.

The choose may additionally order restitution to the victims, the 12-page plea settlement acknowledged. 

Merrill has been jailed since his arrest in Might.

Reiss stated through the listening to she was not prepared to simply accept the plea settlement till she had extra details about Merrill and the offense he admitted committing. The choose set a sentencing listening to for April 24, 2023, and ordered the federal probation workplace to conduct a pre-sentence investigation forward of time.

“Mr. Merrill, I do not know sufficient about you and your case to find out whether or not that is the suitable sentence,” Reiss stated in courtroom. “I need to see the pre-sentence report upfront.”

The choose stated the great report would cowl his childhood, prison historical past, funds, schooling, employment, psychological and bodily well being. “Nearly every part you possibly can think about,” Reiss advised Merrill.

Merrill was arrested in Might after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on expenses of manufacturing and possessing little one sexual abuse supplies.

Chester Police Division officers obtained a report Might 7 of potential voyeurism at Merrill’s house, in response to courtroom paperwork filed within the case. Two days later, Chester police interviewed a toddler who reported discovering a recording machine in a rest room at Merrill’s residence, the paperwork acknowledged.

The kid additionally advised police about witnessing Merrill at Inexperienced Mountain Union Excessive College, positioning his cellphone by his waist as if he was recording photographs of the younger women who have been strolling in entrance of him, in response to courtroom data.

Chester police obtained search warrants on Might 10 for Merrill’s house and digital gadgets and served these warrants the following day, seizing a number of gadgets, together with “pinhole cameras” and a “spy digicam,” the courtroom paperwork confirmed.

Vermont State Police discovered a reminiscence card full of quite a few movies taken in bogs, displaying unclothed younger women, in response to courtroom data.

“The voyeuristic movies seem to have been produced in a number of totally different bogs,” prosecutors wrote in asking the courtroom to maintain Merrill in custody. Authorities had not but recognized “all the bogs depicted within the movies” however had related two of them with homes “frequented” by Merrill, prosecutors wrote in a courtroom submitting.

Merrill at the moment was a language arts instructor at Inexperienced Mountain Union Excessive College in Chester.

Lauren Fierman, superintendent of the Two Rivers Supervisory Union, which incorporates Chester, couldn’t be reached Tuesday for remark. 

In keeping with the Chester Telegraph, Merrill taught in center faculty for twenty years at Inexperienced Mountain Union Excessive College, and was fired shortly after his arrest in Might.

Underneath the plea settlement, prosecutors agreed to drop expenses towards Merrill of manufacturing of kid sexual abuse materials and tried manufacturing of kid sexual abuse materials.
In 2020, Dean Stearns, former South Royalton College principal, was sentenced to 5 years in jail for secretly recording teenage women at his house in Sharon, the Valley Information reported.

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