A lower north shore science teacher caught filming female students last year has been granted bail pending an appeal, with a magistrate describing his behaviour as a “high-level betrayal”.
Eric Wong, 29, appeared at Hornsby Local Court after pleading guilty to two counts of filming a person’s private parts without consent.
But two hours later, Wong was released following an appeal to the District Court.
While Wong’s barrister Peter Givorshner said his client should receive an intensive correction order, Magistrate Alexander Mijovich said “the threshhold had been well and truly crossed”.
A police fact sheet tendered to the court stated officers uncovered hundreds of video and image files of female students on Wong’s personal computers.
The magistrate told Wong he had “abused your position of trust and authority with multiple victims and his actions required “a degree of planning”.
“These occurred in the confines of a school where the victims and their families are entitled to feel safe from predatory behaviour, which this can only be described as,” he said.
“As a teacher you were taking photos of parts of their bodies close to them, under their dresses.”
Givorshner told the court a psychological report had found Wong had autism spectrum disorder. He said if Wong was jailed, there would be no opportunity for him to get the treatment he needed from a community-based therapy program.
Mijovich accepted that the District Court “may have a different view, they may be convinced”.
Wong’s sentencing had been delayed after counsel sought a mental health evaluation.
A photograph of Mr Wong on the Cammeraygal High School website, prior to his dismissal.
Wong, a teacher at Cammeraygal High School in North Sydney, was suspended from duty in December 2022 when a girl bumped into a whiteboard and dislodged a hidden phone in his classroom.