Stephen Mitchell, ex-climbing coach and former AIS employee, charged with child sex crimes | Canberra time

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A former rock climbing coach and employee of the Australian Institute of Sport has been released on bail after being charged with historic sex offenses against girls in Canberra and overseas. Stephen Leonard Mitchell, 55, was arrested in Holt on Saturday night in connection with Operation Pyrite; an investigation that began last July. The investigation was triggered after detectives from ACT Policing’s Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Team received information alleging that Mr Mitchell had attempted to groom a girl between 1994 and 1999. “At the During the ensuing investigation, allegations of additional offenses committed by the man against three other victims were provided to police,” police said in a statement on Sunday. Each of the alleged victims were elite climbers Mr Mitchell had coached as children in the 1990s and 2000s. He was involved in a slew of sports programs and trained these girls apart from his abilities to AIS, where his resume lists him as a “sports experience program instructor” between 1996 and 2002. An AIS business card describes him as a “junior.” sports adviser’. While in custody over the weekend, Mr Mitchell was charged with five acts of indecency, in relation to three alleged victims, in the ACT. He was further charged, in relationship with an alleged victim, of committing two acts of indecency on a child outside Australia Magistrate Beth Campbell read the charges, dated between 1998 and 2006, to Mr Mitchell when the 55-year-old appeared in ACT Magistrates Court on Monday morning.Defense barrister Peter Woodhouse pleaded not guilty to each charge on behalf of Mr Mitchell and asked for the 55-year-old to be released on bail MORE COURT AND CRIME NEWS: Prosecutor Andrew Chatterton said court bail was not opposed, so Ms Campbell granted bail, imposing conditions that prohibit Mr Mitchell from contacting or found within 100 meters of the alleged victims. ment told the 55-year-old that he was to live at a Holt address, report to Belconnen police station three times a week, surrender any passports or firearms and refrain from being within 25 meters from any gymnasium or sports club. Mr Mitchell replied: “Yes, your honor. I agree.” He is due back in court on May 23. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:



Virginia F. Goins