A trial for a man accused of molesting multiple boys between 1988 and 2008 came to an abrupt end Wednesday in King George County Circuit Court after a witness inadvertently gave jurors information they should not have had.

Michael Wayne Stephens, 53, of Jeffersonton in Culpeper County is charged in King George with multiple counts of forcible sodomy and indecent liberties with a child. The first of two scheduled trials in King George was in its third and final day Wednesday when Judge Michael McKenney declared a mistrial.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Keri Gusmann was on her final witness when the jurors learned about other allegations involving Stephens that they weren’t supposed to know about. A new trial was scheduled for March 23–25.

Stephens, a former King George resident, was arrested in September when an adult male alleged that Stephens sexually assaulted him when the victim was a child. Four more people have made similar allegations since then; all are now adults, but said the attacks took place when they were between the ages of 6 and late teens.

Four of the five victims testified against Stephens this week. The victims, all relatives or foster children of Stephens’.

Two of the victims reported single incidents involving Stephens, while the others reported multiple offenses. Gusmann said none of the victims knew about the other victims until after the first one came forward to discuss things that had happened to him as a teenager.

A separate two-day trial on charges stemming from the fifth alleged victim is now scheduled for May 26 and 27. Attorney George Wooditch is representing Stephens, who remains in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under no bond.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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