Custodian pleads not guilty to charges in Northampton High School bathroom incident

  • Michael J. Kremensky, 22, of Florence, appears in Northampton District Court Monday with his attorney, Susan Miles. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Michael J. Kremensky, 22, of Florence, appears in Northampton District Court Monday with his attorney, Susan Miles. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

@ecutts_HG
Published: 4/2/2018 10:50:35 AM

NORTHAMPTON — A high school custodian accused of using several holes in the ceiling of a first-floor bathroom to photograph girls using the toilet pleaded not guilty Monday to associated charges.

Michael J. Kremensky, 22, of Florence, was arrested Friday night on four counts of photographing an unsuspecting nude person. He was released from custody over the weekend on $500 bail and appeared for his arraignment in Northampton District Court Monday morning.

Kremensky was placed on paid administrative leave from the Northampton School District on Thursday after a maintenance worker found “two unusual structural modifications” in the girls’ first-floor bathroom at the high school on Elm Street, according to Superintendent John A. Provost.

Police and school district officials said last week that all other bathrooms, locker rooms and changing areas were inspected and no other modifications were found. The district’s other schools were also inspected out of caution, Provost told the Gazette Friday.

Images recovered Friday from Kremensky’s laptop appear to show bathroom stalls as well as images depicting a toilet and a woman either seated on the toilet or standing next to it, according to court documents. At least four images showed a woman partially naked, which resulted in the charges. Police said the bathroom floor tiles in the images appeared to be consistent with the bathroom floor at the high school.

The district first learned of the incident Wednesday after Kremensky filed a work order request to fix a leaky pipe in a crawl space above the first-floor girls’ bathroom, according to court documents. The crawl space could be accessed from Kremensky’s enclosed workspace via a small door that abuts the wall to the girls’ bathroom.

The workspace is accessible to other custodians and administrators, documents state. Northampton Central Services was contacted to repair the leak and found a small copper water pipe in the crawl space that was bent by what appeared to be significant force, according to court documents.

“This was reported to the day shift custodian, John Zadworny, who then became concerned that someone had stood on the pipe in an attempt to look into the girls’ bathroom,” according to court documents. There were several holes in the ceiling panels above the toilets in the girls’ bathroom, the documents said.

Zadworny reported to police that two days earlier he had looked into Kremensky’s work space twice but was unable to find him.

According to court documents, video surveillance shows Kremensky entering his workspace at 1:34 p.m. and leaving at 1:54 p.m. on March 26. Zadworny checked the area twice during that time and did not see Kremensky there, the documents said. It is believed that Kremensky was inside the plumbing wall space, according to the documents.

Kremensky voluntarily went to the police station to answer questions and allegedly told officers he used the area to vape so that he didn’t have to go outside to do so. When police told Kremensky there was damage found on some of the panels in the bathroom’s ceiling and they were concerned that someone was looking at the girls in the bathroom, Kremensky denied having any knowledge or involvement, according to court documents.

“When SRO (School Resource Officer Joshua) Wallace began to describe the damage to the tiles as appearing to have been originated from the space above the girls’ bathroom into the room Kremensky blurted out ‘There’s no peeping Tom,’” according to court documents.

Kremensky allowed police to search both his iPhone and a laptop although police believe that the phone’s memory had been erased, according to court documents. The oldest text message found on the phone was from March 25 and phone calls only went back to March 27, according to court documents.

“Perhaps the most notable item on the web history was a google.com search on March 26, 2018 at 8:20 p.m. for ‘circumstantial evidence.’ I should note that Kremensky reported breaking the water pipe in the crawl space adjacent to his workspace on or around March 26, 2018,” according to court documents.

Following his arraignment Monday, Kremensky was ordered to stay away from Northampton High School. He is being represented by attorney Susan Miles. His next court date is May 7.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.


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