More victims ID’ed in Rockford Crew House recordings

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PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators have identified three more victims recorded by a former rowing coach as they were undressing.

That’s according to an email from the Northview Rowing Board sent to parents Wednesday morning.

Board members said Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Michael Shibler updated the investigation into ex-coach Timothy Vallier during a Monday night meeting with Northview rowing coaches, board members, parents and students.

Vallier was fired by the district after investigators traced a camera found in the Rockford Crew House to him. Shibler initially said the video showed two females undressing; this week he said five victims – all female rowers from Rockford – have been identified in the recordings.

The discovery was made by a few girls on the crew team in the team’s explorer Friday.

A video camera was lying on the floor, the girls started watching it and quickly realized the disturbing reality: It was members of their team changing. A parent called the superintendent.

Vallier admitted to repeatedly videotaping females as they undressed over the course of several years, court documents show. He also admitted to owning videos of other females changing their clothes, according to the documents.

Both Rockford and Northview school districts are evaluating security at the boathouse; its changing room is closed indefinitely, according to the Northview Rowing Board.

“We believe these pictures may have been taken as early as last fall. But we’re not sure yet. And as far as how far back this is going to go the suspect did indicate that he’s been doing this for a few years now,” said Kent County sheriff’s detective Gary Vickery.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said all electronic and storage devices confiscated from Vallier’s home are being analyzed, but it could take several months to complete their investigation.

“We have confiscated all of his computers, anything that can hold any type of picture or video. Now it’s just going to be the process of getting that stuff downloaded to find out what pictures or videos are going to be on it,” said Vickery.

Vickery says the department has no reason to believe there are victims outside of the crew team.

After the Kent County Sheriff’s Department processes the electronic files, they will be submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to verify whether they have been shared around the world.

Vallier was hired by Rockford Public Schools in 2009 after a series of background checks, Shibler said. Vallier was promoted to head coach of men’s rowing in 2011.

He’s charged with two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, possessing child sexually abusive material and child sexually abusive activity.

Vallier remains in the Kent County Jail on $100,000 bond. He’s expected back in court July 22.

Meanwhile, Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Rockford plans to host a prayer vigil in response to the case.  The event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the church, located at 4865 11 Mile Road NE.

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