Extradition hearing set for Cayman track coach

An extradition hearing has been set in the U.S. for a track coach who left the Cayman Islands after being accused of indecently assaulting a minor earlier this year.

Ato Stephens, 37, is due to appear before U.S. District Court Magistrate Jonathan Goodman on Nov. 29 in Miami, Florida, for a hearing that will, in part, decide whether Stephens will be sent back to Cayman to face charges.

Ultimately, the decision to extradite is left to the U.S. Secretary of State’s office, following the court’s decision on whether there is sufficient evidence to sustain the charge against an individual in the jurisdiction that has charged them with an offense.

The court warned in documents produced this week that opportunities are limited for any individual who is the subject of an extradition hearing to present evidence with regard to the specific criminal charges against them, as extradition proceedings are not considered criminal matters in the U.S. federal court system.

A formal request for the extradition of Stephens, who faces indecent assault charges involving an underage victim in Cayman, was sent to the U.S. Department of State in October by the British Embassy in Washington D.C.

A U.S. magistrate judge ordered earlier this year that Stephens be detained without bond pending any further court appearances in the matter.

Stephens was charged in Cayman on June 24 with two counts of indecent assault, one charge of gross indecency and one charge of misuse of an Information and Communications Technology Authority network in relation to an underage female victim.

A criminal complaint filed with the U.S. Court alleged that Stephens’s offenses occurred on at least two occasions between April and November 2015.