Frank Walmsley guilty of 12 counts of rape

Frank Russell Walmsley. Photo / Otago Daily Times
Frank Russell Walmsley. Photo / Otago Daily Times

Frank Russell Walmsley has been found guilty of 12 counts of rape.

The 12-member jury has today found the 57-year-old former Oamaru caregiver guilty of 52 sexual assault charges in total. The verdicts follow a three-week trial in High Court in Timaru.

Walmsley did not give evidence during the trial but denied the charges against him.

He stood emotionless during the reading of the verdict, but members of this family were sobbing loudly in court. The family left the court immediately after the verdicts were read out.

A man called out to Walmsley as he was escorted from the court.

"The truth will comeout, Dad. Innocent."

The trial began on April 5. After 13 days of submissions and evidence, the six men and six women of the jury returned with their verdict about 4pm following 16 hours of deliberations.

A number of the offences against four of the eight victims date back to the 1990s, when Walmsley ran the Oamaru Child Youth and Family home with his wife, from 1995 to 2000.

The other set of offences were from a period he spent as a life coach from 2005 to 2012.

Walmsley was first investigated by police in 2000, he was not charged but the investigation led to the cancellation of his and his wife's contract with Child, Youth and Family.

The original complainant, proved to be one of the eight victims in this case.

Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae said Walmsley was lucky to escape charges in 2000.

"Why would [Walmsley] continue to put himself in situations where he was alone with young vulnerable teenage girls like [the victims]?" Mr McRae asked the jury during his closing remarks on April 20.

Mr McRae argued that Walmsley held a position of power over vulnerable young people and demonstrated an abnormal sexual interest in young teenage girls.

Defence counsel Craig Ruane questioned the credibility of the Crown's complainants during the trial, calling the complainants troubled children.

Walmsley will be sentenced on June 24, 2016.

- Otago Daily Times

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