Former student defends officer charged in secret peeping case

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Court records reveal more details about the charges against a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer who was arrested Wednesday on charges of taking revealing pictures of teenage girls at a police summer camp program.
                  
Detectives arrested Officer Tom Allen after a five-month investigation that included interviews with dozens of people who had attended the summer camp programs at CMPD’s Police Academy and the department’s Explorer scouting program.
                  
The arrest warrants identify the teenage girls only by their initials and state that he used a digital camera to focus up the shorts of some victims and down the shirts of others, zooming in on their underwear and bras.
                  
The charges are felonies and Allen’s attorney declined to comment as he made an appearance in court Thursday on Allen’s behalf.
                 
“I’m sorry.  I don’t know enough at this point,” said attorney George Laughrun.
                  
No one answered the door at a home in Pineville listed in court records as Allen’s address, but another of the students he had supervised spoke up for him.
                  
“I just don't see him doing that. I'm sorry.  Not him,” said Lester Ramsey, who was an Explorer in CMPD’s program.
                 
Ramsey said Allen was often taking pictures and he never saw Allen do anything that was inappropriate with girls or boys on their frequent outings.
                  
“No, never,” Ramsey said, “I was real close with Officer Allen and the other advisers there.”