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Tyler Stephens aftermath

by - Story: 42735

The RCMP's hands were tied as to what it could, and could not tell the Okanagan Sun about circumstances surrounding the house arrest of one of its players.

The Sun learned last week that Tyler Stephens had been placed under house arrest in June after pleading guilty to sexual assault.

The incident took place in July, 2007.

Stephens has since been arrested and charged with nine counts of sexual assault and two more counts of wearing a disguise while in the commission of an offence.

The offences took place between May and November of last year.

The Sun claim Stephens told them he was under arrest for beating up a guy who had assaulted his girlfriend.

Team President, Les Weiss, after hearing the explanation was false, asked why the RCMP had not come clean with the football team?

"Basically, the RCMP is not obliged to give that information out. It is a Privacy Act consideration," says RCMP Constable, Steve Holmes.

"This information can easily be found out through the courts at this point in time when it comes to exactly what Mr. Stephens has been dealing with in the past."

When asked if the same holds true for a coach convicted of sexual assault, Holmes says, as he understands, under no circumstances can police deviate from the Privacy Act.

"Again, we are constrained by the Privacy Act and we take our direction from the court, we take it from the Criminal Code. I can't speak to each circumstance, but generally speaking, as we are constrained, we don't give out that information. That's my interpretation of it."

Weiss says he understands the explanation.

"That's the law. There are privacy acts involved that they can't deviate from, and that's why we weren't told," says Weiss.

"I also heard from several sources that Superintendent McKinnon went on the air and exonerated us and said there was nothing the Okanagan Sun could do about it."

Weiss says perhaps the club should have been pro-active and learned all of the facts from the courthouse.

"Like I say, hindsight is 20/20. Absolutely, it's a lesson learned."

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