Rockville man accused of raping women at Stepping Stones Recovery Houses

A man who was living in recovery housing for people dealing with substance abuse is accused of sexually assaulting two women, according to officials.

The Montgomery County Police Department said 53-year-old Steven Mitchell of Rockville is considered a house manager at Stepping Stones Recovery Houses in Rockville. Mitchell was a resident himself who had some success with the program and helps to guide others, according to officials.

There are multiple Stepping Stones Recovery Houses, which is a private program, throughout Maryland and each sleeps about five to six people who are separated by gender.

Investigators said Mitchell's first attack was on a woman who was visiting another man at a Stepping Stones house on First Street in Rockville on March 21.

The victim told detectives a man asked her to come into his room, pushed her on the bed and sexually assaulted her. Officials said they have DNA evidence that links Mitchell to the case.

Months later on July 7, authorities said a woman who was a resident at a Stepping Stones house on Reading Terrace in Rockville reported being sexually assaulted by a man associated with the program.

According to officials, a house manager at a nearby Stepping Stones home for women asked Mitchell to come over and help her evaluate a resident who appeared to be intoxicated. Investigators said Mitchell went into the resident's room two times that night and sexually assaulted her each time.

Chris Shannon, the owner of Stepping Stones, declined to talk on camera or provide an official statement but told FOX 5 he was not aware of the first incident. While Shannon denies being aware of the first incident, authorities say that isn't true and that investigators immediately reached out to Stepping Stones Recovery Houses when the allegations came to light in March.

FOX 5 was told Mitchell had several jobs including a part-time shift at Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville. A spokesperson for the hospital told FOX 5 that Mitchell had been working in the housekeeping department. The hospital said it has not been contacted by police and stated it has not received any reports of problems with Mitchell.

Mitchell was arrested on July 13 and faces numerous charges including multiple counts of second-degree rape, fourth-degree sexual offense, and third-degree sexual offense.

Authorities said they're worried Mitchell could have more victims and urged anyone who believes they've been victimized by Mitchell to call detectives at (240) 773-5400.