Businessman accused of supplying drugs for sex

By Edward Gay

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A high-profile Auckland businessman is accused of supplying drugs to girls in exchange for sexual services.

The man, who is in his 50s, was denied name suppression at the Auckland District Court today but he cannot be named because his lawyer indicated the decision would be appealed to the High Court at Auckland next week.

Police opposed name suppression because they believed further alleged victims could come forward.

The man faces 18 charges including supplying the drugs methamphetamine and GHB, as well as sexual violation, indecent assault and possessing a pistol.

He stood in the dock dressed in a bikers jacket with his head bowed as details of the police case were revealed.

The man's lawyer Mark Ryan said his client's house had been raided by police on a number of occasions and he had been under investigation for the last six months.

He said his client had no previous sexual convictions and there was no risk of him not turning up to court.

Mr Ryan said the man should be given name suppression because he had not been able to tell his family members about the charges and some of the charges relate to alleged victims under the age of 16.

He said naming his client could identify the girls.

In declining the man bail, Judge David Wilson said the man's DNA was found on one of the victims and another victim tested positive to the drug GHB.

"Police also rely on phone data - particularly text messages between yourself and the co-accused regarding young girls and using drugs on them."

He said the complainants were vulnerable because of their reliance on drugs.

"And they're vulnerable because you exploited them for sexual favours."

He said there was a risk that he could offend while out on bail.

The man is due to reappear in Auckland District Court via audio-visual link from prison next month.

His inner-city apartment was raided by armed police and members of the police child exploitation team earlier this month.

His co-accused, who is 17 years old, has also been given name suppression.

She is currently in Australia but according to police charge sheets, the teen helped the man stupefy a woman and helped him compel a woman into giving sex for drugs.

She faces fives charges in total.

A police spokeswoman said the teen would be asked to volunteer to come home and face the charges.

She said police were not ruling out laying further charges.

- APNZ

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