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Texas principal charged in case involving cell phone recording in locker room

A Texas middle school principal is accused of encouraging her daughter to hide a cell phone camera inside a high school girls’ locker room to spy on a coach accused of being too stern with basketball players.

Wendee Long, 46, is accused of using her daughter to place a camera inside an Argyle High School girls locker room.

Wendee Long, principal of Wayside Middle School in Fort Worth, surrendered to authorities on Monday in Denton County. She was charged with improper photography or visual recording and unlawful interception, use or disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications, also referred to as wiretapping, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. 

If convicted, Long faces up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Long was released after posting $25,000 bail, the Star-Telegram reported. 

Investigators said Long's two daughters played on the Argyle High School girls' basketball team and complained that the coach was too stern with players, according to television station WFAA of Dallas-Fort Worth.

According to court documents, Long encouraged one of her daughters, then 17, to hide the cell phone camera during an away basketball game in Sanger, Texas, in February, the Star-Telegram reported.

The daughter who planted the phone isn’t facing any charges and authorities say the camera didn't record anything inappropriate.

Long's attorney, Daniel K. Peaugh, said in an email Tuesday that he was “surprised and disappointed” at the charges, according to NBCDFW.com.

Read NBCDFW.com's complete coverage of principal on leave during locker room investigation

"We do not believe anything has taken place that should involve the justice system,” Peaugh wrote in an email. “However, now that we find ourselves in the system we are confident that Wendee will be cleared of any wrongdoing."

Julie Sheridan’s daughter was in the locker room while the camera was recording on Feb. 7, according to ABC News. Sheridan told ABC News: "I don't understand why someone would go to those lengths to break a law to try to get something to go the way they want it to go."

Long has been principal of Wayside Middle School in Tarrant County for five years, according to NBCDFW.com.

School district officials said they will conduct a separate investigation next week.

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