Bible verses used to justify alleged abuse

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A Whanganui man used Old Testament Bible verses to say his alleged sexual abuse against a teenager was consensual, a court has heard.

Wytse De Vries was excommunicated from his church when the leadership did not believe he was truly repentant.

De Vries admits to indecently touching one complainant six to 10 times, his lawyer says, though he has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual violation against her, and four counts of indecent assault against her and another girl while they were aged 12-16.

He pleaded guilty in 2014 to a representative charge of touching the first girl indecently.

An acquaintance gave evidence in a trial in the Whanganui District Court on Thursday, saying he discussed the allegations with De Vries, who quoted Bible verses from the Old Testament.

One was about how if a woman was raped in the town but did not cry out for help, the act was considered consensual.

De Vries' former pastor told the court a number of public announcements were made in the church about De Vries, saying he had sinned, and that he was excommunicated because he had not repented. His sins also included adultery with another woman.

One of the complainants in the trial wrote in a diary entry of her disgust for De Vries professing to be a Christian but acting hypocritically.

"Somebody thinks I'm wicked and it's his duty (after transgressing in a thousand ways other than tan) to convert me," she wrote. "Nothing could repulse me more from Christianity. What a liar!"

The acronym "tan" stood for "that awful night", referring to an incident where De Vries allegedly touched her chest while she was in bed.

"I remember waking up one night and this person was touching me on my breast, and I just pretended to be asleep," she said in a police interview in 2014.

"The next day I didn't know what to do or what to say, so I just did nothing and he just carried on as if nothing had happened. So I kinda figured it must have been sort of normal, that maybe lots of girls have that and tried to forget about it."

The trial continues before Judge David Cameron and a jury of five men and seven women.

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