Former Lyon teacher pleads not guilty to taping students

DAVE THOMPSON | The Sun

Michael McCuiston (right) appears in Lyon County Circuit Court with defense attorney Marc Wells. McCuiston faces charges of voyeurism and installing an eavesdropping advice after allegedly putting a recording device in a school bathroom.

EDDYVILLE -- The former Lyon County Middle School teacher accused of putting a recording device in a girls' bathroom pleaded not guilty Monday to 10 felony and misdemeanor charges.

Michael McCuiston, who taught physical education to both boys and girls before he resigned and was arrested in April, appeared in Lyon County Circuit Court with defense attorney Marc Wells.

McCuiston was arraigned on five counts each of installing an eavesdropping device, a class D felony, and voyeurism, a class A misdemeanor.

After entering the plea, Wells asked Circuit Judge C.A. "Woody" Woodall to reduce McCuiston's $100,000 cash bond.

"He does not have the capacity to post much of anything in cash," said Wells, noting his client has always lived in Kentucky, owns land in Webster County and has been continuously employed until his resignation.

"He doesn't appear to be any risk at all," Wells said.

Lyon County Commonwealth's Attorney Carrie Ovey-Wiggins objected to any amount of reduction in McCuiston's bond, citing the gravity of the charges and other factors.

"These offenses were committed on school grounds," she said, calling the alleged offenses "very serious."

Kentucky State Police Detective Lloyd Ray testified at a previous hearing that McCuiston's wife told investigators she had seen some images on her husband's cell phone of what appeared to be an underage female using the bathroom.

Police have said they found what they believe to be the recording device during a search of McCuiston's home.

He also currently faces one charge of tampering with physical evidence in Webster County relating to the day he was arrested, but has not been indicted on that charge.

Ovey-Wiggins said McCuiston's position of special trust at the time, along with the impact to the individual alleged victims and the school system, support a high bond.

Wells noted McCuiston has been in jail since April and called the bond situation "repressive," even suggesting his client could be placed on electronic monitoring if he can post a lesser bond.

"To put a $100,000 cash bond on somebody with five class D felonies and misdemeanors is almost equivalent to convicting before we even have a trial," he said.

Woodall said "as a practice" he sets high bond when alleged victims include minors, but he would review the bond and rule on the issue later.

"I do try to be internally consistent with my bonds that I set," he said.

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