17 new allegations: police fear they may not be the last

By Peter de Graaf

The man in custody has denied the 17 new allegations of sex offences involving young girls.
The man in custody has denied the 17 new allegations of sex offences involving young girls.

A Northland man already in custody charged with sex offences involving young girls has denied 17 new allegations.

The fresh charges were laid in the Kaikohe District Court yesterday after five new complainants came forward following publicity last year around James Brian Sanders' alleged offending.

Thirteen women have now made complaints about the Taipa 66-year-old. Kaitaia police Detective Mark Dalzell said he wanted to hear from anyone else who knew of the case but had yet to speak to police.

He was pleased 13 people had come forward so far but feared there could be more.

"If you know something, come forward and talk to us," he said.

"There could well be more ... that have chosen not to complain or become involved."

Sanders now faces 42 charges.

The new charges against him are sexual violation by rape, 15 counts of indecent assault against a female aged 12-16, and one indecent assault against a female aged over 16.

Some of the charges are representative, meaning they cover a number of similar alleged offences.

The offences are alleged to have occurred at two locations south of Whangarei between 1998 and 2002.

Sanders lived in a small community in the area from 1997-2006. The name of the organisation he was associated with at the time was suppressed.

Sanders, who has been in custody since October, looked gaunt in his brief appearance before Judge Keith de Ridder.

He was further remanded in custody to August 19 for a case review of the new charges. Judge de Ridder also set a date of October 24 for a pre-trial hearing. Sanders has not applied for bail.

Most of Sanders' original charges - two of sexual violation, one of assault on a child, and the rest indecent assaults - relate to alleged offences in the Far North. An earlier suppression order barring publication of the name of an organisation he worked with was continued this week.

Members of the public can call Mr Dalzell at Kaitaia Police on 09 408 6500 or, for anonymous tips, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Northern Advocate

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