Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Prominent New Zealander's indecent acts were 'brief, opportunistic and sneaky', court told

The prominent New Zealander facing charges cannot be named.
The prominent New Zealander facing charges cannot be named.

Indecent acts committed by a prominent New Zealander against young girls were "brief, opportunistic and sneaky", the Crown says.

There are heavy suppression orders covering the case, meaning the man cannot be identified, nor can the complainants, their ages or the location of the alleged offending.

The defendant is on trial before a high court facing 12 charges of doing an indecent act against two girls - four counts relate to a child while eight relate to a "young person".

The charges, which include allegations of touching the complainants on the breast, buttocks, groin and thigh, are punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment.

Crown prosecutor Alysha McClintock told the jury that any prior knowledge of the defendant should be put to one side.

"It's whether the acts occurred . . . that's the only focus in this case."

She said much of the alleged offending happened behind the guise of massages.

When interviewed in 2014, the girls described feeling "weird, uncomfortable, scared and nervous" about the alleged molestation.

"The touching was sneaky, it was brief, but it was undoubtedly sexual," Ms McClintock said.

"What started as a seemingly innocent form of touching became something else, something sexual; something our law calls an indecent act."

But defence lawyer Arthur Fairley said the allegations were absolutely rejected by his client

"Whatever facts [the Crown] want to advance . . . it is totally denied," he said.

He urged the jurors to look for inconsistencies and accounts of witnesses, that may have changed over the course of time.

The allegations emerged in 2014 when one of the girls told her father, who eventually informed police.

Mr Fairley directed the jury to pay attention to that element, as well as the alleged timeline forwarded by the Crown, which he said would "give the game away".

"Anyone can say whatever they like in this courtroom," he said. "You have to gauge the words of the person talking to you."

Ms McClintock said much of the offending came during massages but the defendant also pressed himself up against one girl from behind.

She told police she could feel his penis against her and felt like he was going to kiss her.
Ms McClintock told the jury the main issue for the jury was simply going to be whether they believed the complainants.

"Do you ultimately believe them to be honest and accurate witnesses," she said.

Both girls will give evidence by audio-visual link tomorrow.

The case continues.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 29 Mar 2017 02:04:35 Processing Time: 664ms