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Police: Pair charged in Watervliet, Great Escape bathroom surveillance

Police: Pair charged in Watervliet, Great Escape bathroom surveillance

Police: Pair charged in Watervliet, Great Escape bathroom surveillance
James and Valerie Hewitt
Photographer: Albany County District Attorney (insets); Shutterstock (background)

WATERVLIET - A husband and wife worked together to record women and children using the bathroom at a Watervliet Price Chopper and the Great Escape in Warren County, authorities said Wednesday.

Police in Watervliet uncovered at least 30 victims secretly recorded there by the couple and two recorded at the Great Escape.

Of the 30 recorded in Watervliet, authorities have determined the identities of four, one of them a child. Of the two victims at Great Escape, one was a child, authorities said.

James Hewett, 30, most recently of Watervliet, and his wife, Valerie Hewitt, 29, most recently of Middleville, Herkimer County, now each face four felony counts of unlawful surveillance and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. They also faces multiple felonies in Warren County for the allegations there.

Police received information about the Watervliet surveillance in July and recovered a device from the defendants, according to a Wednesday press conference available on the department's Facebook page. 

The investigation determined the two had been conducting the secret bathroom recordings over the previous two years at the 19th Street Price Chopper. The investigation also led them to identify recordings identifiable as from the Great Escape.

The Great Escape recordings appeared to be limited to two identified victims there, while the Watervliet recordings numbered at least 30.

Authorities believe the pair worked together to make the recordings, but Valerie Hewett carried the recorder in via her purse and then removed it as she left. She set the purse down to view under the wall, police said. Police believe some victims were targeted and others were random.

Authorities are hoping to identify the other 26 victims recorded in Watervliet. Once identified, police can then file separate new charges, police said.

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim is asked to contact the Watervliet Police Department at 518-270-3837. 

James Hewitt was arraigned on the Watervliet charges Tuesday and posted $20,000 bail and was released. Valerie Hewitt was arraigned and released on $10,000. 

Warren County authorities obtained their own arrest warrants for the pair Wednesday morning and rearrested James Hewitt for arraignment there. They were searching for Valerie Hewitt.



Posted by Watervliet Police Department on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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