Hay River, N.W.T., man in court on sex assault charges
A man in Hay River, N.W.T., is in court this week facing two charges of sexual assault against two children.
Mark Andrew Stephens, 56, and his wife ran what has been described as a foster home and open-door daycare where upwards of 125 children passed through over the years.
Stephens is accused of sexually assaulting two children at the home. The alleged incidents took place between January 2008 and May 2011.
Both of the children who implicated Stephens have given their testimony, saying they were inappropriately touched by Stephens at the home numerous times.
The defense says the story is a fabrication, and suggests the children were provided with a script. The defense also said the children liked Stephens and would wrestle and play with him.
Stephens’ lawyer suggested that the children were coached on what to say.
One individual who spoke with CBC News said Stephens is quiet but generally has a good reputation in the town. He is said to have worked at the arena, but was suspended without pay after the charges were laid.
The identities of the children are protected under a publication ban.