A 39-year-old former elementary school teacher has pleaded guilty to charges that he made a perverted recording of a student and used hidden cameras in restrooms to create child pornography.

Thomas Guzzi Jr. faces 17 years in prison after taking a plea deal on second-degree charges of official misconduct, manufacturing child pornography and distributing at least 25 files of child porn. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 27.

After he gets out of prison, he will have to register as a Megan's Law offender, be subjected to parole supervision for life and will never be allowed to hold a public job. His teaching license has already been revoked.

Guzzi was a 5th grade teacher at Winslow Elementary School in Vineland and was an advisor for youth theater productions at the school and at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, where prosecutors say he set up his restroom camera. Prosecutors say Guzzi took video of a boy urinating and spliced it together with footage of the boy dancing during rehearsals.

Guzzi was found out after investigators tracked child porn to a shared folder tied to his IP address.

Investigators said he had hundreds of files of child pornography on his computers at home as well as a video showing Guzzi installing a camera in a public restroom. The video then shows a man using the restroom.

Investigators said they eventually found videos taken by cameras installed in a restroom backstage at the theatre in Pittman as well as at a building across the street. Prosecutors say Guzzi cut 300 hours of footage from the restroom cams to create a music video and montage of two boys in the camp in 2015.

He was arrested in 2016 and was about to go to trial this week before coping the plea.

“Like many child predators, Guzzi sought out positions of trust in which children were placed under his supervision,” said Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Tuesday. “He then callously violated that trust by photographing and videotaping young boys for his sexual gratification, including a vulnerable student at a school where he taught. With this guilty plea, Guzzi is facing justice for so heinously betraying the innocent children who were entrusted to his care.”

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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