For years he was on camera delivering the day's sports news. But, Roger Springfield's latest on-camera appearance was much different. He was reporting to Onondaga County Court for arraignment. YNN's Bill Carey has the details of the investigation of Springfield's activities and what has now led to an indictment on felony charges.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For 11 years, Roger Springfield was a popular sportscaster on WSTM Television. Leaving television in the 90s, he eventually to a job with Syracuse University, as head of its media productions.
In that job, Springfield directed some key events, like SU's involvement in the movie, "The Express." But his prime job was producing videos on SU sports.
In December, a co-worker was reviewing some of Springfield's tapes of a game in Florida when, instead of locker room interviews, he encountered video of players going in and out of a shower.
“He pretty quickly, and pretty alertly, realized that something inappropriate had happened,” said William Fitzpatrick, Onondaga County District Attorney.
That worker notified a superior. In the wake of the Bernie Fine scandal, a new protocol was clearly in place.
“The change is they're involving me quickly. If athletics or anyone has a particular concern or issue that comes up, they're quickly contacting my office,” said Anthony Callisto, SU Public Safety Chief.
Police were called in. Springfield, fired by SU, cooperated and led authorities to 14 recordings of athletes in the football, soccer and lacrosse programs. 108 victims in all.
Authorities say Springfield would pre-position a camera in a locker room near the shower area. He would then turn it on and begin recording. But the athletes were unaware the camera was operating because Springfield would place tape over its red light to make them think the camera wasn't on.
“I mean, how would you like to know that somebody's been watching you over the years? This is, in no stretch of the imagination, a victimless crime,” said Fitzpatrick.
The statute of limitations allows for charges in connection with four of the recordings. The charge is unlawful surveillance.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Springfield disseminated these images for anyone's use other than his own,” said Fitzpatrick.
“There's no evidence and you won't find any evidence of any sexual misbehavior in this matter. He's married. He's got three children. Three grown children. He's never had any problems in his life before,” said James McGarw, Defense Attorney.
Springfield's attorney is optimistic the case can be resolved quickly.
Springfield, whose legal last name is Cahak, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is free awaiting trial. The charges against him carry a potential penalty of up to four years in state prison.
Local authorities say some of the recordings were made in other states, including Florida, Ohio and Massachusetts. They have contacted authorities in those states and alerted them to their investigation.
Watch the full news conference:
CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Roger Springfield charged with unlawful surveillance
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