Anglophone East School District sweeps Riverview schools for recording devices

·2 min read

The Anglophone East school district has done a sweep of schools in Riverview, looking for recording devices after additional charges were laid against a volunteer basketball coach.

On Tuesday, Shawn Nickerson, 32, was charged with 30 child pornography and voyeurism charges involving at least seven victims.

He was arrested on Oct. 25 and initially faced a single charge of making child pornography.

The new charges include making child pornography, possessing child pornography, making videos and images of children, publishing child pornography and making recordings of children in circumstances where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The charges cover alleged incidents over a four year period, from June 2, 2016 to March 31, 2020.

Anglophone East Superintendent Gregg Ingeroll sent an e-mail to parents in Riverview on Wednesday, after the new charges were laid.

Pierre Fournier/CBC
Pierre Fournier/CBC

"One of these charges is related to visual recordings of individuals with reasonable expectation of privacy; this statement may cause some to wonder where those visual recordings took place," Ingersoll wrote.

Ingersoll writes although there is no confirmation that visual recordings happened in Riverview schools, Anglophone East "shares these concerns" and as a precaution the district completed a sweep of all washrooms and changing areas.

He says the sweep was done by maintenance and IT staff in all Riverview schools, searching for any electronic or recording devices, as well as any areas where recording devices could potentially be hidden.

"This sweep of all areas resulted in no recording devices being found," Ingersoll wrote.

The school district plans to continue sweeping these areas on a regular basis to make sure there are no places where devices can be hidden. Custodial staff will also be maintaining regular checks of these areas.

Ingersoll says Anglophone East will continue to work closely with the RCMP regarding the investigation as new information becomes available. The district has also set up a Response Team with schools in the Riverview community.

Kate Letterick/CBC News
Kate Letterick/CBC News

Cst. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP said the case is still under investigation and that police are working hard to identify any other victims.

An RCMP news release about Nickerson's arrest says the New Brunswick RCMP's Internet Child Exploitation Unit began investigating in August 2020 based on information received by the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Crime Centre.

A search warrant executed Oct. 25 at Nickerson's Riverview home led to police seizing "a variety of electronic devices."

There is a court ordered publication ban on any information that could identify victims.

Nickerson remains in custody and is scheduled to return to court Nov. 9 for a bail hearing.