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

Prominent Kiwi denies 'inappropriate contact'

The girls' names and ages are suppressed, as is the location of the alleged offending. File photo
The girls' names and ages are suppressed, as is the location of the alleged offending. File photo

• Prominent kiwi accepts he massaged two girls but says touching was never inappropriate
• He says they were never "sensual massages"
• The girls were scared they would not be believed because he was an "important person"
• The man who first heard of the allegations said he panicked when he was told about the accusations

A prominent New Zealander facing a slew of sex charges admits massaging two girls but absolutely denies any inappropriate intent.

The man, whose name is suppressed, gave a four-hour police interview in 2014 when the details of the alleged indecent acts were put to him.

"All I can tell you is what I've done and haven't done. It's very hard," he said.

"There may have been contact on the leg. That contact may have happened.

Have I deliberately made inappropriate contact? I'm saying categorically no."

The man is before the High Court in Whangarei charged with 12 counts of doing an indecent act against two teens, including allegations of touching the complainants' breasts, buttocks, groin and thighs.

The girls' names and ages are suppressed, as is the location of the alleged offending.

At the outset of the police interview, Detective Christopher Blake asked him whether he had touched either of the girls inappropriately.

"No, definitely not," he replied.

The defendant described the younger complainant as "larger than life, no shrinking violet" while he said the other was "very sensitive" but boisterous.

He was up front about giving the older girl foot rubs and a couple of shoulder massages but said there were always other people around.

"We're not talking a sensual massage," he told police.

"I didn't just spring out of nowhere and say 'do you want a shoulder rub?'"

When Mr Blake told him the younger girl had alleged he put his hand up her shorts near her genitalia, he staunchly denied the claim.

"Never happened. Absolutely not. Absolutely not," he said.

Days after one of the girls raised concerns about the defendant, a relative of hers sought advice from a friend who referred them to a social worker.

Both teens sat down with the woman in 2014 and made general disclosures of repeated molestation.

There was not a lot of detail given or sought during the meeting but the witness said the girls were determined to take the allegations to police.

"They wanted it to stop and they wanted to be believed and their fear was nobody would believe them," the woman said.

The man who was the first person to hear of the accusations against the defendant said he "started to panic" when told of the nature of the alleged offending.

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey asked whether he pressed them for further details of the alleged groping but he claimed he did not.

"Touching on the legs, that's not right. I don't want to know anymore," the witness said.

The older complainant told police the man gave her foot rubs lasting up to 20 minutes which would gradually become "massages up on my thighs and everything".

"He does it sneaky so [no one] notices what he's doing," she said.

She told police the incidents made her feel scared "like he might come on to me or something".

The Crown is expected to call further police witnesses tomorrow.

The trial is expected to conclude next week.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

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


© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 24 Oct 2016 18:43:32 Processing Time: 774ms