HALIFAX -- A former basketball coach in Riverview, N.B., has been sentenced to nine years behind bars in connection to several child pornography related charges.

Shawn Curtis Nickerson, 32, appeared in Moncton Provincial Court on Friday where he was sentenced.

In October 2020, Nickerson pleaded guilty to 32 charges related to child pornography and sexual interference. Those charges include:

  • making child pornography (25 counts)
  • possession of child pornography (three counts)
  • making available child pornography (two counts)
  • accessing child pornography
  • sexual interference

The list of charges stem from incidents that occurred on various dates between June 2016 and October 2020, involving several identified victims, as well as unknown victims, while Nickerson served as a volunteer basketball coach.

According to the agreed statement of facts, Nickerson secretly filmed boys in washrooms and locker rooms using spy cams and then uploaded the photos to forums on the dark web. He also sought help online for how to prey on children – actions described by Malika Levesque, the Crown prosecutor in the case, as "insidious."

Thirteen victim impact statements were submitted, which the Crown says detail a sense of betrayal.

"This took a worldwide effort of police officers from all around the world, to come together and locate 21 victims in little Riverview, N.B.," said Crown lawyer Karen Lee. "And that is an extra ordinary effort."

On Friday, Nickerson spent most of the hearing looking at the floor; however, he did make a statement to the court. In the statement, Nickerson said, "I would do anything to undo what I have done, but I realize the damage cannot be reversed. I am truly sorry for what I have done."

The Crown and defence submitted a joint recommendation for a sentencing of nine years beginning on Friday, which was accepted by Judge Paul Duffie.