A Whangarei teacher who sexually abused two girls and physically abused six children place in his care by Child Youth and Family has been jailed for 14 years and six months for significant offending that a High Court Judge described as a huge breach of trust that will have lifelong effects on those abused.
Taite Hemi Kupa, 57, was sentenced in the High Court at Whangarei today after being found guilty by a jury on three counts of rape; six of unlawful sexual connection; and one each of attempted rape and attempted unlawful sexual connection. The sex convictions relate to two girls, who were aged 10 and 14 at the time.
He was also sentenced on nine counts of assault on a child aged under 14 and one of assault on a female (a 14-year-old girl). The offending happened between August 2011 and February 2013 at the Whangarei CYF family home Kupa and his wife were in charge of. The violence charges related to six children, including the two girls who were also sexually abused, and involved kicking them in the backside or pulling their ears when they were deemed naughty.
Justice Asher also imposed a minimum jail term of seven years and three months' jail before Kupa would become eligible for parole. Kupa sat or stood quietly in the dock during sentencing.