Youth leader in child sex case

By Amanda Snow

27-year-old faces 20 grooming, indecency charges and police say number may rise

Graeme Todd (right) pictured in court on Friday, has been remanded in custody for two weeks. Photo / Doug Sherring
Graeme Todd (right) pictured in court on Friday, has been remanded in custody for two weeks. Photo / Doug Sherring

A youth group leader has been charged with multiple allegations of indecent assault and grooming boys for sex.

In an unusual move, a judge has cleared the publication of the defendant's name and photo by the Herald on Sunday, while suppressing the identity of the centre where the man worked with young people.

Graeme David Todd, 27, of Auckland is charged with 20 counts of grooming and sexual offending against young people and children - and police warn that further charges may follow.

Todd was arrested two weeks ago and initially charged with seven counts. His bail hearing on Friday at the Auckland District Court was adjourned after 13 fresh charges were laid.

Detective Senior Sergeant Richard Corbidge, of the Auckland police child protection team, told the Herald on Sunday that the investigation was ongoing and officers were working closely with Child, Youth and Family.

"It's a very sensitive and protracted inquiry," he said. "Further charges were laid (on Friday) and I would anticipate there would be further charges in the future."

Anyone with concerns is being encouraged to call the police.

Corbidge said: "We have a number of complainants and that could rise. As a result of the publication of Mr Todd's name, if anyone would like to contact police in relation to that, they can do so on 09-302-6400."

Two of the 20 charges against Todd involve arranging to meet, or persuading to meet, a young person for sexual grooming. Police say the other 18 are allegations of indecency towards children and young people.

On Friday, Judge Jonathan Down remanded Todd in custody to reappear in two weeks.

Members of Todd's family were in the court for his appearance.

Defence lawyer Guyon Foley said outside court that Todd was now a full-time student and no longer worked at the organisation at the centre of the allegations.

He said Todd's departure from the organisation was unrelated to the case.

- Herald on Sunday

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