BRIDGEWATER — A fencing instructor has been charged with sexually assaulting two female victims who came forward with reports of several alleged incidents of abuse between January 2020 and last month.

Stephen Kovacs, 49, is a Watchung resident, but his encounters with both females were characterized by the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office as having happened in his capacity as a fencing coach, within Bridgewater Township.

On the last day of September, a release from the prosecutor's office said Tuesday, prosecutors received reports that a 16-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by Kovacs, with subsequent interviews of her specifying incidents that took place from August through September.

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One week later, prosecutors said, a 19-year-old woman reported she was abused by Kovacs starting at age 18, from January through December 2020.

Kovacs was arrested Oct. 13 and initially charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree endangering the welfare of a child. He was released from custody Oct. 19 following a detention hearing.

But in Tuesday's release, the prosecutor's office said further investigation revealed Kovacs made false statements under oath during that hearing. He was re-arrested Friday and additionally charged with fourth-degree false swearing.

Kovacs is now lodged once again in the Somerset County Jail pending another detention hearing.

Anyone with further information is asked to call the prosecutor's office at 908-231-7100, Bridgewater police at 908-722-4111, Crime Stoppers' tip line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477), or by using the STOPit mobile app, which can be downloaded for free with the access code SOMERSETNJ.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email

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