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Man defends grooming allegations

By Sandra Conchie -
The trial is expected to take three days. Photo / File
The trial is expected to take three days. Photo / File

A Tauranga man is on trial defending allegations that he kissed and fondled two young girls and tried to persuade them to be photographed naked with the aim of selling the images online.

Andrew Timothy Wilson, 39, appeared in the Tauranga District Court yesterday and denied three counts of indecent assault against a female aged under 12 - two of which are representative charges - plus two counts of sexual grooming.

The offences are alleged to have occurred in Tauranga last year after Wilson befriended the girls' mother and began joining her and her daughters on social outings.

During her opening address, Crown prosecutor Julie O'Brien told the jury they would hear directly from both girls after watching their video-taped evidential interviews conducted late last year.

Mrs O'Brien said Wilson regularly touched and kissed the girls to get them used to intimate contact so they would be more receptive to his naked modelling proposition.

The proposition was allegedly made to the girls while their mother was on a phone call.

Yesterday, one of the complainants gave evidence that in her mother's absence Wilson had told her and her sister they were suitable for modelling jobs, including naked modelling.

She said that Wilson told them he had photographs he could show them so they would know how to pose and if he advertised the photos on a website they could make "heaps of money".

Her sister will give evidence today. The trial is expected to take three days.

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