Ex-climbing coach charged with sex offenses Stephen Mitchell faces nine new charges

Prosecutors have brought nine additional charges against former rock climbing coach Stephen Mitchell, who is accused of child molestation.

Two other alleged victims have come forward for ACT Policing’s Operation Pyrite investigation into its alleged activities, bringing the total number of alleged victims to seven.

Mr Mitchell now faces 26 charges of grooming, sexual conduct with children outside Australia and sexual activity with children between 1994 and 2005.

The nine new charges are:

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

Mr Mitchell faced the ACT Magistrates Court today, where his solicitor Peter Woodhouse said the case was large and complex and he would need time to work through it.

The court also heard that some reports were not yet completed.

The case was adjourned until October.

Police allege security clearance obtained with false information

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

Two other alleged victims came forward earlier this year after his first indictment.

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

The police will claim that he obtained his security clearance by making false and misleading statements.

Mr Mitchell has been out on bail since his first court appearance earlier this year.

Mr Mitchell coached a number of junior champion climbers in Canberra from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, and for a time was employed by the Australian Institute of Sport.

In the early 2000s he was employed by the ACT Police Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) in a position funded by the Australian Federal Police.

And in the mid-2000s he was employed for several years by Sport Climbing Australia, the climbing governing body.

Anyone with fresh information about Mr Mitchell is urged to contact Crime Stoppers and refer to AFP’s Operation Pyrite.

Virginia F. Goins