Updated: Kaitaia church leader pleads guilty to sex charges

By NZ Herald

A Kaitaia evangelical church leader who secretly filmed a teenage girl and a woman has pleaded guilty to a raft of sex-related charges.

Eric Clifford Reid, 63, stood down as pastor of the Kaitaia Family Church after two complainants came forward with allegations he recorded them without their consent.

He pleaded guilty to 25 charges of making intimate visual recordings and 24 charges of possessing intimate visual recordings when he appeared in Kaikohe District Court today.

The Kaitaia community has been shocked by a string of sex allegations this year, including against a prominent businessman and a school teacher who face separate charges of sexually abusing boys.

Reid's church is part of the Apostolic movement, a group of evangelical churches which includes the Equippers church network in New Zealand.

Apostolic church national leader Bruce Monk said the charges did not relate to members of Reid's congregation.

He said Reid had resigned and the church was looking for another pastor.

"We're doing all we can to help Eric and the family so that they can work through what's been a horrible process for them all.

"It's a horrible situation but you know, we're all human and people have to deal with their frailty. And we don't like it, but it's happened and in the process we want to try and help Eric as much as we can so he can find forgiveness and work through life."

Monk said a church movement supervisor had been appointed to make sure the church was safe while a new pastor was found.

Reid declined to comment when called at his Kaitaia family home.

Te Aupouri Maori Trust Board, where Reid worked in the social services arm, was not available for comment.

Reid was refused name suppression at an earlier appearance.

He will reappear in court next year for sentencing.

His guilty plea follows the arrest of a prominent Kaitaia businessman on allegations he sexually abused four boys under 16.

The man in his 30s, who has name suppression, will appear in Kaitaia District Court tomorrow charged with 16 counts of indecent assault.

The Far North community was also recently shocked by the arrest of disgraced Kaitaia teacher James Parker, who has pleaded guilty to 49 charges of sexual abuse of boys.

The former deputy principal of Pamapuria School is due to be sentenced on November 15

- Northern Advocate

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