Ex-teacher gets probation for secretly filming former students

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

A former high-school teacher will receive five years’ probation for secretly filming two former students while they undressed.

Matthew Blair, 46, of Mineral Ridge, pleaded guilty last month in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to interception of wire, oral or electronic communications and voyeurism on both a 2016 indictment and a bill of information.

Blair formerly worked as a teacher and track coach in the Weathersfield Local School District.

County prosecutors said Blair used a device that resembled an alarm clock radio to film the girls during a period when they lived at his home.

One of the victims said she trusted Blair as a parental figure and became tearful as a friend read her statement to the court.

She discovered the spy camera and described watching a video of herself undressing.

“I have been lied to. I have been used. I have been violated,” the friend read.

Blair’s attorney argued Blair’s actions were those of a “desperate parent” and that he set up the camera to make sure the girls behaved.

Blair apologized to Judge Maureen Sweeney. “From the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry this happened,” he said.

In addition to the probation, Blair will be required to register as a sex offender and he forfeited his teaching license.

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