A former rowing coach in a Western Michigan school system has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison and five years supervised release after he confessed to secretly filming underage girls undressing and having child pornography.
Timothy Vallier, 30, pleaded guilty last fall to two felonies, including recording high school athletes in locker rooms, WXMI Fox 17 reported.
Vallier was a head rowing coach in Rockford (Mich.) until he was arrested last July. From 2012 until last year, Vallier secretly filmed girls undressing in the changing room at the Rockford High rowing team’s boathouse and inside the Rockford Freshman Center, per WXMI. The station reported that Vallier had 86 tapes of his victims.
Wednesday in federal court in Grand Rapids, five of the 62 victims addressed Judge Gordon Quist: two teens, a 21-year-old woman, and two mothers speaking on behalf of their daughters.
As many seated in the packed courtroom dried their tears, per WXMI, one teen said in part, “I forgive Tim. I am not a number. I am not a video. I am a daughter.”
Vallier himself also addressed the court. He said in part, “I am ashamed of my actions,” and this is his “deepest regret,” going from their rowing coach to becoming a source of their fear.
Rockford Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Schibler told WXMI that they have made safety improvements because of the incidents. For example, he said the locker rooms are now electronically monitored, and they document who goes into the locker rooms and when.
“It was 62 girls, their families, their friends, their community of Rockford,” Schibler said. “This is an issue we’ve dealt with the last 11 months. Quite frankly it’s had an impact on the entire community. That needs to be said and I believe the prosecutor was trying to get that point across, and I don’t have any sympathy for the perpetrator.
“Our student athletes, our young ladies, I thought in this case today they were very brave and heroic in their position and their statements. I’m very proud of them. I’m glad this situation, as far as I’m concerned, has been resolved and it’s over.”