SPARTA — A 41-year-old teacher at a Catholic high school in town has admitted to taking hundreds of “upskirt” videos and photos of female students, as well as having a stash of child pornography.

Michael F. Wagner, of Hopatcong, was a science teacher at Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta.

Wagner pleaded guilty on Friday to first-degree child endangerment and second-degree manufacturing of child sexual abuse, Acting Sussex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced.

He also taught at Reverend Brown Elementary school, which serves grades Pre-Kindergarten through 4th, Murray confirmed.

SEE ALSO: Prison for NJ teacher who solicited nudes from kids

Reverend George A. Brown Memorial School, Sparta (Google Maps)
Reverend George A. Brown Memorial School, Sparta (Google Maps)

In fall 2022, a fellow teacher overheard several 8th grade female students talking about their teacher, Wagner, recording them during class.

Sparta police responded to the school and found “hundreds” of videos and pictures of numerous female students, taken by an electronic device positioned to record the underwear of girls wearing the school’s uniform skirts.

attachment-Image Sussex County

Wagner was arrested about a week after the launch of the investigation.

He must give up his teaching license in New Jersey, as part of his guilty plea.

Wagner was slated to be sentenced on July 26.

NJ 'perv' teachers, coaches busted in the past three years

There have been a number of educators, coaches and private teachers facing criminal charges for sexual offenses around New Jersey, between 2022 and 2024.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past several years, state lawmakers have dealt with accused child predators among ranks of teachers and educators.

The following individuals were arrested and charged in 2021 and several years earlier. Some were convicted and sentenced to prison.

Others accepted plea deals for probation and some cases were still pending.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

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