Wednesday, July 15, 2020
July 15, 2020

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Lawyer: No proof Evergreen teacher shot images

Prosecutor says photo by student is evidence as trial begins in voyeurism, attempted voyeurism case

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

The attorney for an Evergreen High School teacher who’s accused of inappropriately filming females, including students, with his phone told jurors that there’s no proof his client shot the images.

Opening statements in Matthew Morasch’s trial began Tuesday afternoon in Clark County Superior Court. He faces one count of voyeurism and two counts of attempted voyeurism for allegedly trying to take photos and video up the dresses of a 14-year-old girl in his class, an unidentified female student and unidentified female at the Battle Ground Goodwill store. The alleged incidents occurred in April and June 2015.

His attorney, Alan Harvey, argued that Morasch — a freshman science teacher who was in his 10th year with the school district — often carried his phone in class and that students would use it to take selfies and photos with him. He also said it’s possible Morasch could have accidentally bumped the phone, activating its camera.

Deputy Prosecutor Luka Vitasovic told the jury that several students saw what they believed to be Morasch filming the lower half of another student who was seated at a table where students were working on final projects. The girl was reportedly wearing a dress.

A student snapped a photo of Morasch while he recorded the girl from under the table, Vitasovic said. One of the students said he saw the timer counting and that the red record button was on, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.

However, Harvey argued that when the photo taken of Morasch was enlarged, it doesn’t show that his phone was recording.

Morasch was suspended from his job June 15, 2015, the same day the students reported what they saw.

He surrendered his phone to police, but investigators were unable to find a video of the female student. Vitasovic told the jury Morasch had time to delete it before police obtained his phone. However, investigators found a photo and video taken of two different females in April 2015. One photo was taken of a student in Morasch’s classroom and the other was of a female shopping in the Goodwill.

During his statement, Harvey also raised concerns about the police investigation and how school administrators handled the situation.

The trial continues Wednesday.