School staff member charged with 'sadistic' sex assaults

By Andrew Koubaridis

A former staff member at an Auckland school is standing trial on historic charges of "sadistic" sexual and physical abuse of students.

The staff member, who has name suppression, pleaded not guilty to 25 charges yesterday on the first day of his trial in the High Court at Auckland.

He worked at Waimokoia School in Bucklands Beach in the 1980s, when the Crown says the assaults occurred.

The charges include allegations he raped one young girl and abused another while forcing her to watch pornography. He is also accused of indecent attacks on a 9-year-old boy.

The residential school is now closed but used to cater for children with behavioural problems.

Crown prosecutor Tiffany Robertson told the jury the offending against the boy started in his bedroom, but spread to other places - including a windowless concrete "cell-like" structure used for time-out.

It is alleged that he "cornered" the boy in the cell, saying: "It's time to have fun".

Ms Robertson said the boy was indecently assaulted and when he fought back, the staff member "got more violent and held him down to have his way regardless".

The court heard the boy was attacked with a staple gun, a chair leg, a piece of soap in a sock, and had cigarettes burned into his skin.

The man also allegedly stapled the boy's penis to a chair leg.

The prosecutor said the offending was "repetitive and got progressively more sadistic".

She said the man told a 12-year-old girl he "really, really liked her" and touched her on the thigh.

She then went for a shower and returned to her room in her towel to find the accused sitting on her bed.

He is alleged to have forced her to perform sex acts.

Ms Robertson said the third student - another 12-year-old girl - thought the staff member was a "good guy" at first, but he is alleged to have raped her in the school sick bay.

The staff member's lawyer, Ron Mansfield, said his client's position was "a clear one, a vehement one".

"These things did not happen to these children at the school."

The accused would give evidence himself and would call witnesses.

- NZ Herald

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