Moncton man accused of recording video of children in hotel pools facing charges

Fredericton Police Force officers arrested Stephen Blackwood after receiving complaints about a man taking videos of children in several hotel pools in early November. (Gary Moore/CBC file photo - image credit)
Fredericton Police Force officers arrested Stephen Blackwood after receiving complaints about a man taking videos of children in several hotel pools in early November. (Gary Moore/CBC file photo - image credit)

A Moncton man has been charged with sexual assault after recording video of children at the pools of four Fredericton hotels.

Stephen Blackwood is facing charges of assault, sexual assault against a child under 16 and sexual interference, according to the Fredericton Police Force.

"Several complaints were received of a man videotaping children in the pool areas," on the weekend of Nov. 11, according to police.

Blackwood was arrested on Nov. 12, said Sonya Gilks, a Fredericton police spokesperson. Charges were officially laid later in the month and Blackwood was released on conditions, she said.

A few days later, Blackwood was again arrested, this time in Moncton, for allegedly breaching those conditions, said RCMP Const. Chris Fader.

The investigations met the elements of the specific offences. - Sonya Gilks, Fredericton Police Force

Blackwood is scheduled to appear in Moncton provincial court on Jan. 4 for allegedly breaking the rules set out by the court.

Fader said RCMP officers arrested Blackwood in Moncton on Dec. 2, but said he couldn't get into the specifics of what caused the arrest.

"We got a call on on Dec. 2 from a local business here. There was some concern about [Blackwood], and we went and investigated the matter and found he was in breach of an undertaking that he had out of Fredericton," Fader said.

Blackwood is scheduled to return to Fredericton provincial court on Jan. 5, 2023, to answer for the main charges.

When asked to elaborate on how assault and sexual assault charges can stem from videotaping children, Gilks said "The investigations met the elements of the specific offences."

She also said police won't release the names of the hotels where the recordings were made. She said the force has been in touch with the families of the victims.

Other victims, Moncton investigation underway

Fader said the RCMP is investigating Moncton-based allegations against Blackwood, separate from the breach of conditions charge. Charges have not been filed, so he said he can't reveal what they may be.

"We're waiting to get a couple more statements," Fader said. "The wheels are turning. Just, you know, we got to get everything ready."

That Moncton appearance, scheduled for Jan. 4, is a fitness hearing. Fitness hearings typically deal with the accused's ability to understand court proceedings and whether they're fit to stand trial. Criminal responsibility is a separate issue decided at trial.