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Ex-School Administrator Awaits Plea Offer, Court Date

Case moves along for Patrick Lott, former Bernardsville Middle School assistant principal, accused of videotaping Immaculata students in shower.

The attorney for Patrick Lott, the former assistant principal at the Bernardsville Middle School arrested in December 2011 on charges he allegedly videotaped male students showering at Immaculata High School in Somerville, said his client is awaiting the offer of a plea deal from the Somerset County prosecutor's office, but there is no guarantee it will be accepted.

Attorney James Wronko said that Lott, who was a volunteer coach at Immaculata during the alleged incidents, is due to return to state Superior Court in Somerville on Jan. 25. He said the case is scheduled for a status update before Judge Julie M. Marino on that date.

In the meantime, Wronko said he is expecting an offer of a plea deal for Lott, 55, who was indicted at the end of June on 91 counts stemming from charges that he used hidden cameras to secretly record the students in the shower at the private Catholic school.

"They [the prosecutor's office] will be making a plea offer as in every case," Wronko said. "I don't know what the offer is going to be, and I have no clue if it's going to be something we will consider."

Wronko previously said he was awaiting a report from a state forensic lab on the contents of his computer hard drive, but he said he now has received all discovery materials, or evidence to be presented against Lott, in the case.

However, he said he has not yet reviewed all of that material.

Meanwhile, Lott, of Somerville, remains in jail, Wronko said.

Lott, who also worked at Bernards High School before moving to become Bernardsville Middle School assistant principal, is accused of videotaping the nude students while a volunteer coach at Immaculata in Somerville. Lott received high ratings from students who posted an opinion on Rate My Teachers while he was a teacher and then assistant principal at the high school.

Educators at the Somerset Hills Regional School District have repeatedly said that there are no allegations against Lott that he even attempted any secret filming of students while he was employed at district's schools in Bernardsville. The Somerset County Prosecutor's office searched the Somerset Hills schools shortly after Lott's arrest around Christmas 2011, and found nothing, Somerset Hills Superintendent Peter Miller said at that time.

The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office announced late in June that Lott had been indicted on 29 counts of third-degree invasion of privacy, 30 counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, 17 counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child and 15 counts of fourth-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Last summer, Wronko said he would question the basis for some of the charges.

Wronko last summer said he believed the investigation was concluded. In a follow-up email after Lott's indictment, Miller said in an email that nothing has changed since that earlier search of Somerset Hills school buildings. "We have not been informed of any connection to students in our district," Miller said.

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