NEWS February 29th, 2016

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Ex-teacher facing several new charges

Arrested last year for child porn, man now faces sex assault charges relating to primary-aged children

A man arrested in December on child porn charges is now facing five sex assault-related charges after three alleged victims have come forward saying they were abused.

Stephen Joseph Schacter, 55, was initially arrested late last year, a month after police say he was viewing child pornography on a computer at an employment centre at Lawrence Square near Lawrence Avenue West and Allen Road.

Det. Const. Joel Manherz, during a police news conference today, said as a result of media coverage of Schacter’s prior arrest, three victims came forward alleging sexual abuse.

On Feb. 24, Schacter was arrested again, and is now facing two counts of sexual assault, and one each of sexual interference, sexual exploitation, and gross indecency.

During the announcement of the recent arrest, Manherz said the three victims were primary-school age at the time of the alleged offences and are now in their 30s and 40s. He said the incidents took place in the 1980s and 1990s, when Schacter was working as a teacher at Eitz Chaim school in North York. Manherz would not comment on the gender of the victims.

Schacter was employed at Eitz Chaim from 1986 to 2004, at which time Manherz alleged Schacter was asked to leave following an allegation of inappropriate conduct. The allegation, he said, was not reported to police. Schacter then worked at the Eglinton-Bathurst area United Synagogue Day School from 2005 to 2009 in several capacities, and finally as a private tutor from 2009 to 2011.

Manherz added that while legislation exists now to force schools to report such allegations, the legislation did not exist at the time of the unreported allegation. He also said police are aware of allegations reported to the school but not reported to police, and that those allegations are not from the same victims who have come forward to police now.

As a result, Manherz said police believe there are more victims. Police also said the current allegations go back to March of 1982.