Charges against Graham Capill allege decade of abuse

New sex charges - including rape - laid yesterday against disgraced former Christian Heritage Party leader Graham Capill outline a decade of alleged abuse of young girls.

An ashen-faced Capill - who has already pleaded guilty to a representative charge of indecently assaulting a female under 12, a charge on which he was to be sentenced yesterday - appeared briefly in Christchurch District Court.

Capill, 46, married with 10 children, made no plea and was remanded on bail until June 28. He was ordered to have no contact with the complainants or witnesses.

Capill now stands accused of:

* Two charges of rape, against complainant A, between February 5, 1997, and February 4, 1999.

* One charge of attempted rape, against complainant B, between June 9, 1990, and June 8, 1992.

* One representative charge of indecent assault, against complainant A, between February 5, 1992, and February 4, 1999.

* One representative charge of indecent assault, against complainant B, between January 1, 1990, and June 8, 1994.

* One representative charge of unlawful sexual connection, with complainant A, between February 5, 1992, and February 4, 1999.

Both complainants were aged under 12 at the time. The girl Capill has already confessed to molesting was also under 12.

Capill's lawyer, Jonathan Eaton, made no comment after the hearing. Capill, flanked by several bodyguards, made a rapid getaway after his court appearance.

His fall from grace began in March when he was arrested on the historic indecent assault charge. After a court appearance a week later, he was attacked by a member of the public.

Capill entered a guilty plea on April 1, and was due to be sentenced in May.

But police sought a remand until yesterday while further allegations were investigated - inquiries which led to the latest charges.

The earliest charge pre-dates Capill's assuming leadership of the Christian Heritage Party - a position from which he railed against child sex abuse, pornography, homosexuality and hypocrisy.

He stepped down as leader in 2003 and was most recently employed as a police prosecutor. If convicted, Capill faces up to 20 years in jail.

The accusations came to light when a parishioner at St John's Church in Latimer Square, where Capill and his wife, Judy, worshipped, approached the vicar with an allegation of sexual abuse.

Vicar Wally Behan and his wife, Rosemary, then went to the police.

Yesterday, Mrs Behan said the fresh charges against Capill "speak for themselves, really".

She said the complainants had done the right thing by speaking up.

"They now want to leave it in the hands of the authorities."

Vic Pollard - a friend of Capill and a fellow Christian - reiterated he would stand beside Capill.

"This is now tougher," Mr Pollard admitted. "I think the gravity of the charge wouldn't affect my support of him - support is support.

"He's just got to plead appropriately to these charges, even though they are more severe."

Capill has not played any role within the Christian Heritage Party since stepping down as leader in August 2003.

He resigned his party membership late last year over differences about the direction the party is now taking.

- NZPA

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n4 at 22 Jul 2014 20:32:59 Processing Time: 603ms