Australia

Former rock-climbing coach accused of sexual offences to face nine new charges

ACT Policing are planning to lay an extra nine charges against a former rock-climbing coach accused of child sexual assault offences, Stephen Mitchell.

A further two alleged victims have come forward to ACT Policing’s Operation Pyrite investigation into his alleged activities, bringing the total number of alleged victims to seven.

Mitchell is now facing 26 charges relating to grooming, sexual conduct with children outside Australia, and engaging in sexual activity with children between 1994 and 2005.

The nine new charges are:

  • Four counts of an act of indecency on a person under 16 years
  • One count of an act of indecency without consent
  • Two counts of false or misleading information knowingly
  • One count of false or misleading information aggravated

Police intend to lay the new charges against Mitchell when he faces the ACT Magistrates’ Court today.

The 56-year old was first charged in February for acts of indecency involving three girls who were between 11 and 14 at the time when he was coaching local and international junior rock climbers in the 1990s and early 2000s.

An additional two alleged victims came forward earlier this year after he was first charged.

One of the fresh charges comes after police investigated how Mitchell obtained a security clearance to work for Australian government departments overseas.

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