Registered sex offender charged with assault will remain in jail

John Stevens, 38, of Brockton is a registered sex offender. — Photo courtesy of Dukes County J

Convicted sex offender John Albert Stevens, 38, of Brockton must remain in the Dukes County Jail following a dangerousness hearing held Friday afternoon before Judge J. Thomas Kirkman, First Justice of the Edgartown District Court.

In court, Edgartown police said Mr. Stevens sexually assaulted and took photographs of three minors on Big Bridge in Edgartown on Saturday, August 1. Big Bridge is a popular spot for young people who climb the railing and jump into the channel below.

Mr. Stevens is currently on probation in Connecticut for sexual offenses that include soliciting an underage prostitute. Under the terms of his probation, he is not allowed to be in a possession of a camera or a recording device.

Sergeant Joel DeRoche was dispatched to Big Bridge shortly after 8 pm, Aug. 1. He was the sole witness called to the stand.

Sergeant DeRoche testified that when he arrived at Big Bridge he saw a group of adults standing in a U-shape around Mr. Stevens. No children were in sight at the time.

The mother of two of the victims told Sergeant DeRoche that she had accused Mr. Stevens of photographing the children, and he handed the phone over to her to prove he had not. However, the phone had a security passcode and she could not verify if what he said was true. The mother held on to the phone, and ultimately turned it over to Sergeant DeRoche.

Sergeant DeRoche said that all three young girls were visibly upset by the situation. He transported Mr. Stevens back to the station in handcuffs “for officer safety,” according to the police report.

At the station, police read Mr. Stevens his Miranda rights, and he consented to questioning. While in the interview room at the police station, Mr. Stevens told police about his lengthy criminal record, which includes a prostitution charge. The families went back to their vacation rentals to change and dry before they also went to the station to give statements.

Sergeant DeRoche said the three juvenile females, ages 11, 14, and 15, stated they heard photographs being snapped behind them, and that their buttocks were repeatedly touched while on Big Bridge that evening. The girls told Sergeant DeRoche that they initially thought it was accidental, until it happened again.

Based on witness statements, police arrested Mr. Stevens on two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or over, and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person under 14.

Mr. Stevens’ attorney, Peter Elikan, argued that Mr. Stevens was extremely intoxicated and that alcohol was the real issue in the situation. He asked that Judge Kirkman release Mr. Stevens with the condition that he wear a GPS tracking device and submit to daily alcohol monitoring.

Judge Kirkman, however, said he found that recommendation to be redundant, as Plymouth court had ordered Mr. Stevens to put on a GPS tracking device the day before the incident.

The next court date is a pretrial hearing on Sept. 3.