Bail hearing waived by Riverview basketball coach facing child porn charges

·2 min read

A Riverview volunteer basketball coach facing 30 child pornography and voyeurism charges waived his bail hearing Monday.

Shawn Curtis Nickerson appeared in Moncton provincial court briefly for the hearing, but defence lawyer Abel Le Bouthillier said they're waiving the hearing at this point.

Crown prosecutor Karen Lee told the court that they are still going through potential evidence that would need to be disclosed to the defence.

"We're still going through a very large number of digital devices," Lee said.

Nickerson will appear by video conference Dec. 8 at 11 a.m.

Le Bouthillier declined to comment after the appearance.

Nickerson's 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 dates in the charges cover a four year period starting in 2016 and suggest there are at least seven victims.

One charge alleges Nickerson made visual recordings of "unknown persons" in circumstances where there's a reasonable expectation of privacy between June 2, 2016 to March 31, 2020.

Pierre Fournier/CBC News
Pierre Fournier/CBC News

Monday's bail hearing was held in one of the smallest courtrooms in the building, leading to issues with courtroom capacity.

A notice outside the courtroom indicated its capacity is 12 overall because of COVID-19, with five of those in the public gallery. Before the hearing began, there were eight in the gallery, including four reporters.

Andre Michaud, a deputy team lead with the sheriffs, told reporters from CBC News, Global TV and Acadie Nouvelle to leave the room citing the reduced capacity. A Times & Transcript newspaper reporter was allowed to stay.

Michaud told reporters the case couldn't be moved to one of the larger courtrooms in the building.

After several minutes, two of the three were allowed back in the room to cover the hearing which went ahead with 13 people in the courtroom, one above its listed capacity.

No alternative way to observe the proceeding was available.

Access to the courthouse during the pandemic has been limited to those directly involved in proceedings, such as an accused, witnesses, police, lawyers, as well as accredited media.

In May, Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice Tracey DeWare and then-deputy minister John Logan spoke about the new rules on a call with reporters.

"Because we have to be more careful on who's in the building and who's in the courtroom, I think the media's role takes on a heightened importance," DeWare said at the time.

"It'll be the journalists that will be that kind of 'public eye,' that will be the folks that are around and can report on what's going on."