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Soccer Coach Jailed; Court Date is Set

Ralph Shipler, the local girls soccer coach accused of producing child pornography, is now in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He is being held without bond.

Police obtained warrants for his arrest last Monday, Sept. 29, but were unable to jail him immediately because he first required medical treatment and hospitalization for unspecified injuries. Shipler, 61, of 3215 Ravenscraig Court in the Chantilly Highlands section of Oak Hill, was already injured when he turned himself in to authorities last Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Court documents allege that he secretly videotaped children attending a nudist camp in Pennsylvania, in early September. They also allege that he photographed members of the team he coached, the Herndon Force — a travel soccer team for girls 13 and under — while they were nude and in various stages of undress.

Police say Shipler, who has a daughter of his own, reportedly did so via a hole leading from the garage of his home into a bathroom where the girls were changing clothes — some, putting on bathing suits. According to police, the girls were unaware that they were being photographed.

Authorities executed a search warrant at his two-story, Oak Hill home on Sept. 25. They seized, among other things, "miscellaneous soccer rosters, papers [and] nude publications." They also seized an address book, a Herndon Force uniform, two computers, a printer, 20 CDs, 25 floppy disks, a digital camera, 45 video cassettes, soccer pictures of the Force and assorted manila folders containing soccer information.

Following his release from the hospital last Thursday, Oct. 2, Shipler was taken to the Adult Detention Center. Since he's being held without bond, he will remain there until his preliminary court hearing slated for Nov. 5. If convicted, he could receive as much as 30 years in prison.