Fugitive wanted for child abuse ran junior gym training youngsters

Fugitive wanted for child abuse ran junior boxing classes and a gym training youngsters during his time on the run

  • Anthony Stevens, 47, is wanted in Texas over a series of alleged sex attacks
  • The British fitness coach fled the US in November 2005 following six charges 
  • Stevens managed to secure a job in 2019 running fitness classes for children

A fugitive wanted over child sex abuse charges duped an education charity into letting him run a gym training youngsters after spending 14 years on the run. 

Anthony Stevens, 47, is wanted in Texas over a series of alleged sex attacks on a 12-year-old girl. 

The British fitness coach fled the US in November 2005 after being charged with six child sex offences, including aggravated sexual assault and indecency with a child. 

Anthony Stevens, 47, is wanted in Texas over a series of alleged sex attacks on a 12-year-old girl

After being released on bail, he failed to turn up at court for his trial, slipping over the border into Mexico and then flying to France and sneaking back into Britain.

Years later, a US investigator finally tracked him down on Facebook where the man was using the name Tony Campbell. 

Now the suspected sex offender is facing extradition to America where he could receive a possible maximum life sentence if convicted. He denies the charges. 

Using another different name, Stevens managed to secure a job in 2019 running Basement Fitness gym, based at the Zinc Arts education charity building, in Ongar, Essex where exercise classes are offered to children over the age of eight. 

Stevens also ran junior boxing classes for children aged eight to 16 and boasted on the gym’s website that he had represented the England Amateur Boxing Association. 

He was finally arrested last April by Scotland Yard who were tipped off by US investigators. 

Last week, Stevens, pictured, was told by a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court that his case would be referred to Priti Patel. 

The Home Secretary is responsible for making the final decision on his removal. 

Stevens is being held in Wandsworth prison awaiting the approval of his extradition. 

Last week, Stevens, pictured, was told by a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court that his case would be referred to Priti Patel

Zinc Arts provides arts and education projects to children, disabled people and socially excluded groups. 

The charity did not directly employ Stevens but allowed him to establish the fitness centre on their site. 

Yesterday it emerged that the suspect had told the charity’s bosses that his name was Anthony Rae. 

Yesterday the Zinc Arts’ chairman of trustees, Daryn Hufton-Rees, said: ‘Mr Rae [Stevens] was never an employee of Zinc Arts, but a hirer of space. 

‘He was responsible for his own DBS [Disclosure and Barring Service check] as it was his business… At no time did this person have any access or contact with any of Zinc’s clients or participants on his own.’

Source: Read Full Article