Husband, wife recorded women, young girls using restroom, police say
Thirty-year-old James Hewitt and his wife, 29-year-old Valerie Hewitt, stand accused of working together to film women and young girls in bathroom stalls.
At a news conference on Wednesday, police said Mrs. Hewitt concealed a small recording device in her purse and put it under an adjacent stall.
“The allegations are that Valerie would carry the purse in with the recording device and sit in the stall,” Watervliet Police Chief Anthony Geraci explained. “Their victims were both targeted and random.”
Two of the six victims have been described as girls younger than 10.
It happened over the course of two years at the Price Chopper store on 19th Street in Watervliet and also at Six Flags Great Escape in Queensbury.
They're facing several charges and indictments for unlawful surveillance, endangering the welfare of a child and promoting the sexual performance of a child.
"This is a pretty disturbing case,” said Lt. Steven Stockdale. “The outcome here is troubling to a lot of seasoned officers."
Police said they became aware of this on July 11, executing a search warrant on their house recovering the video recorder on the same day.
Police said at least 25 other women and children were recorded, but they haven't identified them.
They're urging anyone who noticed something strange using the bathroom at either of these places to come forward.
"As a law enforcement professional for two decades, nothing is more disgusting and more disturbing than these allegations and the crimes that they committed, especially as a husband and wife, that they would in tandem target and victimize very young children and women who are unsuspecting," said Geraci.
The couple was arrested Tuesday by Watervliet police and were released on bond. A judge ordered them not to use public bathrooms as the case moves forward.