B.C. coach who secretly photographed boys in change room convicted of voyeurism

A well-known former Coquitlam youth sports coach has been convicted on two counts of voyeurism for taking secret photos of two boys while they changed in a locker room.

The youths were between the ages of 12 and 14.

Randy Downes was charged in the spring of 2016 after police executed a search warrant at his home and said they found digital evidence of images of children that met the criteria for voyeurism and child pornography.

Prosecutors initially charged Downes with nine counts relating to both crimes. Police at the time said there was no evidence that Downes had sexual contact with any of the youth.

Investigators said they believed the photos were taken between June 2013 and April 2016.

In her reasons for judgment B.C. Supreme Court Justice Heather MacNaughton noted that coaches are in a position of authority and trust, and said that kids should be able to trust their coach to respect their privacy.

“The photos are telling,” she said, noting that it is clear that the subject of the dozens of photos presented as evidence was the boys’ bodies.

MacNaughton added that Downes took the photos of boys in their underwear, “surreptitiously.”

She said Downes copied multiple photos of the two youth, whom he coached, and sent them to his email account — some of the photos were cropped to focus on the boys’ underwear region.

While none of the photos were nude, the judge noted that they were taken in a place where it was possible nudity could be expected to happen.

According to police, Downes had been involved in youth sports across Metro Vancouver for more than three decades.

He had coached hockey and baseball at different levels since the 1990s and also worked as a photographer.

At the time of his arrest in 2016, he was the president of the Coquitlam Moody Minor Baseball Association.

— With files from Erin Ubels

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