court gavel

An Indiana University of Pennsylvania senior has been placed under court supervision for seven years after being convicted of secretly recording a conversation with a professor early last year in a Stright Hall office. Jared Schafkopf, 22, was sentenced Friday to the term of probation and was ordered to pay unspecified fines and court costs for a third-degree felony count of intercepting communications.

Schafkopf, who lives locally along Washington Street, had been accused by IUP campus police of secretly recording a Feb. 28, 2019, meeting with mathematics professor Rachelle Bouchat. In the chat, captured on a GoPro camera, investigators said Schafkopf badgered Bouchat to make comments discriminating against his political beliefs. Prosecutors believed Schafkopf intended to publish her incriminating comments on social media to shame the professor, but the remarks never came.

But the recording proved Bouchat kept her cool, maintained a professional tone and verified that she gave Schafkopf a fair grade in a 100-level class, according to Indiana County District Attorney Robert Manzi. And in violation of the state wiretap law, there was no evidence that Bouchat was aware of or permitted the recording, according to the charges.

President Judge William Martin found Schafkopf, of Huntingdon Valley, Montgomery County, guilty of the charge after a non-jury trial Aug. 18 in the Indiana County Court House. Schafkopf, who majors in information systems and decision sciences, will face possible periodic drug testing, restrictions on his travels and use of alcohol and other aspects of his life, and will be required to meet monthly with a probation officer until 2027 under terms of the probationary sentence.