FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 26, 2019
Contact: Heather F. Williamson
Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
20 East Market Street
Leesburg, VA 20176-2809
Educational Professional Convicted and Sentenced for Unlawful Filming of High School Students
Two year sentence imposed
LEESBURG, Virginia – July 24, 2019. Samuel Christian Hermens, 31, appeared before Judge Douglas L. Fleming, Jr. in Loudoun County Circuit Court for sentencing on three felony charges of unlawful filming, videotaping, or photographing another (victim less than 18 years old). Fleming imposed a total active sentence of two years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.
On October 26, 2018, Hermens was observed filming female students in the hallways of Woodgrove High School. Hermens would follow closely behind the students, activate his camera, and then position his camera under their skirts in an attempt to film their undergarments. Video surveillance obtained from the school confirmed Hermens’ actions.
During an interview with a Loudoun County Detective, Hermens admitted to filming the female students at Woodgrove High School, and further disclosed that he had engaged in the same type of activity at two other Loudoun County High Schools.
Hermens pleaded guilty to the charges on April 22, 2019.
Four of the juvenile victims testified at yesterday’s sentencing hearing. “I never thought this would happen to me; why would someone ever think of doing this,” asked one of the girls.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Nicole Wittmann urged the court to impose a sentence that would send a message to the community. “This man is a predator and he was going to do this until he got caught,” said Wittmann. “When we send our children to school, we expect they will be safe, nurtured, and protected by teachers and administrators,” continued Wittmann.
In addition to the two years of penitentiary time, Judge Fleming also imposed an additional four years of suspended time. Upon his release, Hermens will be placed on 15 years of supervised probation.
Judge Fleming noted in his sentence that justice would be to roll back time before the girls were filmed, and that he wished he could do that, but he could not. “Mr. Hermens betrayed the trust of the entire community,” said Fleming.
Pursuant to Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, Hermens will also be required to register as a sex offender. Information about the Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and those on it can be found on the Virginia State Police website: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov.