New sex charge laid against school care worker

By Peter Jackson of The Northland Age

A Kaitaia man responsible for a school care programme who faces multiple charges of indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection has entered not guilty pleas to all charges.

Police laid one fresh charge against James Brian Sanders, 65, today taking the total count of charges he faces to 25. All but two of the charges are of indecent assault, the remaining two alleging unlawful sexual connection.

Sanders entered not guilty pleas when he appeared before Judge Greg Davis today in the Kaitaia District Court and was further remanded in custody for a review hearing in Kaitaia on February 4.

The name of the school, and the programme Sanders was involved in at the time of the alleged offending, were further suppressed.

Defence counsel Chris Muston told the court that Sanders denied all charges and elected trial by jury.

Detective Mark Dalzell, from the Child Protection Unit in Kaitaia, said the fresh charge of indecent assault related to an alleged offence against a 14-year-old girl south of Whangarei. Inquiries were continuing there, and in the Far North, he added, and it was not unlikely that more charges would be laid.

The Far North charges relate to seven female victims aged from under 12 years to 12-16.

Sanders, who did not apply for bail, was not employed as a teacher at the time of the alleged Far North offences.

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