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NJ Fencing Coach, Columbia U Champ Who Sexually Assaulted 2 Teens Lied Under Oath: Prosecutor

Stephen Kovacs
Stephen Kovacs Photo Credit: Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

A New Jersey fencing coach was arrested for sexually assaulting two teenagers then gave false statement in his detention hearing, authorities said.

A 16-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulting by Stephen Kovacs, 49, of Watchung, in Bridgewater in August and September 2021, Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said. 

Then, a 19-year-old woman said she was also sexually assault by Kovacs -- formerly of Clifton -- when she was 18, Robertson said.

The victim earlier this month disclosed incidents of sexual assault that occurred in Bridgewater from January 2020 to December 2020, authorities said.

As a result of this investigation, Kovacs was arrested on Oct. 13, 2021 at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office by detectives from the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit without incident.

He was charged with two counts of 2nd degree, Sexual Assault and two counts of 3rd degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Defendant Kovacs was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing. 

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, Kovacs was released from the Somerset County Jail as a result of his detention hearing.

A subsequent follow-up investigation determined that Kovacs gave false statements under oath during his detention hearing, according to Robertson.

Just three days after being released, Kovacs was arrested at his home without incident by members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and charged with 4th degree False Swearing. Kovacs was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Online records show that Kovacs was a fencing coach at Duke University and Medeo Fencing Club in Bridgewater. He fenced for Columbia University, and was a national collegiate champion, the New York Times reports. According to Kovacs' LinkedIn page, he was the head fencing coach at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Police Chief Payne request anyone with information relating to the sexual assault to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes Unit (908) 231-7100 or the Bridgewater Township Police Department at (908) 722-4111 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. 

STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

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