Man accused of putting camera in Chick-fil-A bathroom

Gaston County Police arrested an Iron Station man who was accused of sex crimes against a minor and secret peeping.

BELMONT, N.C. -- A former Chick-fil-A employee in Belmont is accused of secretly shooting cell phone video of a boy as he was using the restaurant's urinal.

Cameron Franklin is currently at the Gaston County Jail under a $150,000 bond for two counts of felony third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and felony secret peeping.

Gaston County Police said they were tipped off to Franklin after he downloaded child porn involving both a 10 and an 11-year-old boy.

After searching his computer, a detective said they stumbled upon a short video shot inside the Chick-fil-A at Belmont's men's bathroom showing Franklin recording from behind a 10-to-12-year-old boy using the urinal.

Franklin was a well-known employee among customers at the Belmont location.

Linda Stephenson said he would always visit her former senior citizen complex.

"I'm in shock," she said. "I just can not find it in my heart to believe he's guilty."

Bergen Hightower said she and her kids would always chat with Franklin.

"He's just really friendly, and he was always engaging with the people when coming through the drive-thru," Hightower said. "[It's] kind of upsetting and creepy at the same time."

Franklin appeared in Gaston County court Wednesday afternoon where a judge stipulated that if he made bond, he couldn't have any contact with minors nor use any device with internet access, and he must wear a GPS ankle monitor.

District Attorney Locke Bell said Franklin is presumed innocent, but his prosecutors asked for stringent bond stipulations given the nature of the charges.

"Any crime that has to do with children troubles us very much," Bell said.

But, Franklin's attorney, Rick Beam, said neither Franklin nor his parents plan on paying for his release.

"He's not going anywhere," Beam said. "He's staying right where he is. This is much more about the endgame than it is about right now."

The owner of Chick-fil-A at Belmont released the following statement:

We are aware of the allegations, and the team member is no longer employed at our restaurant. Any further questions will need to be addressed by local law enforcement.

A manager confirmed Franklin's been gone for several weeks.

His case is scheduled to go before a grand jury this month.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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