Counsellors are available for the alleged victims of a 32-year-old basketball coach from Riverview, N.B., who is facing 30 child pornography related charges. The incidents are alleged to have occurred over the last four years.
The bond between a player and a coach can be a deep one, says counsellor Lesley Smyth.
"As they start to move into adolescence and young adulthood, they really seek out other adults to trust and to be in their circle," Smyth said.
There's concern in the basketball community in New Brunswick, after 32-year-old Shawn Curtis Nickerson, a coach from Riverview was charged with 30 child pornography and voyeurism-related offences.
"The New Brunswick RCMP ICE unit began investigating this case back in August 2020 when they were alerted to the situation by the RCMP’s national child exploitation crime centre," said Const Hans Ouelette of the New Brunswick RCMP.
That led to a search of a home on Aberdeen Drive where police seized a number of electronic devices.
As a result, Nickerson is now facing eight counts each of making and possession of child pornography, eight counts of recording individuals with a reasonable expectation of privacy, three counts of making available child pornography, and three counts of publishing intimate images.
Nickerson coached a number of teams, some within the Anglophone East School District. As a precaution, the district took it upon themselves to check their facilities.
"While we have no confirmation that visual recordings happened in our schools ASD-E shares these concerns and as a precaution we have completed a sweep of all washroom and changing areas," it said in a statement.
The incidents are alleged to have occured between December 2018 and January 2020. Smyth encourages anyone who may have been involved to ask for help.
"Whether you were involved directly or indirectly or just have some confusion and trying to understand things they can help you through the process," Smyth said.
Following his court appearance on Tuesday, Nickerson was remanded into custody. He is scheduled to return to court for a bail hearing on Monday.