Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Teacher jailed for sexual abuse, supplying drugs to children

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A South Waikato teacher has been sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually abusing to children and supplying drugs to one at a maori immersion school.

Reuben James Parinui Tapara, 33, was sentenced today at Hamilton District Court on 11 charges of sexual conduct, sexual violation of children and supplying drugs during the three years he was assistant principal at Te Wharekura O Te Kaokaoroa in Putaruru.

The victims were a boy who Tapara had carried sexual acts with for two and a half-years for various amounts of cash and two others who had been fondled above their clothes in the classroom.

In his sentencing, Judge Thomas said the acts had been ``planned and premeditated'' and been carried out in a ``cynical and calculated way'' over a number of years. He said Tapara had abused the trust which not only of the young boys and their families, but the school and the wider community and the effects on the victims would be ``significantly traumatic and on-going''.

Friends and families of the victims in court to hear the outcomes cried at news Tapara would be in prison for seven years.

The mother of the victim most seriously abused told the court Tapara had ``killed her son's childhood''. She said when she had trusted the school and teachers with her child, she had never dreamt she would have to worry about him being sexually abused. ``I have not had a full night's sleep since finding out what he did to my son.''

Tapara's lawyer James Gurnick said his client was ``deeply remorseful and regretful''.

- NZ Herald

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