A former Auckland youth group leader facing sex charges against underage women told police he didn't think it was possible to be charged with raping someone if they were your partner.

Samuel Patrick Dockary's trial began in the Hamilton District Court this week in which he's defending 26 sexual assault charges including rape, sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and doing an indecent act at various and repeated times on two different victims - both underage - between August 1, 2011 and March 1, 2013.

Dockary, who now lives in Tauranga, was a youth group leader at a bible college in Auckland when he's alleged to have indecently assaulted and then later raped a 14-year-old girl.

He then left the church and moved to a small Waikato town to live with family. It's there that a second set of similar offending is alleged to have occurred.

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Both young women were aged 14 at the time.

His lawyer Sheila Cameron said her client confirmed all of the sexual-related activity took part with the young women, apart from sexual intercourse.

She would argue that the girls consented to the sexual activity, which varied from kissing, to oral sex, either at a church or in the second complainant's case - at a Waikato sporting event.

In her opening submissions to the jury of five men and seven women this morning, Crown prosecutor Rebecca Guthrie said Dockary met the first complainant at church in 2011 when he was a youth group leader.

"You will hear that he was persistent from the start, then he asked for her phone number.

"She gave him a fake number but he got [hers] anyway and he would text her often and would turn up at her home and she felt like she was being stalked by him."

Guthrie said the complainant would testify that Dockary claimed to be in love with her but that she didn't have those feelings for him.

Her family noticed a friendship developing between the pair, so sat her down and gave her some ground rules about not kissing him or being alone with him.

However, several weeks later, it's alleged Dockary groped her breasts as her sister sat nearby before it soon escalated to forcing his hands down her pants and later forcing her to have oral sex.

Several months later she confided in a priest who has confronted Dockary who denied it all, the court was told.

"He said that if she said anything she would ruin his life."

It escalated further and repeatedly until the alleged rape occurred.

Guthrie told the court he then became worried that she was pregnant so he punched her in the stomach, made her watch pornography and force her to act out what she had just seen.

Guthrie said the complainant would testify that Dockary told her that if she told anyone again he would kill himself before he was put in prison.

After telling her parents while on holiday in 2012, Dockary was spoken to again by the pastor when he admitted everything apart from the sexual intercourse, and had said that it was consensual.

"The defendant was removed from the campus by one of the other pastors," Guthrie said.

He then moved to the Waikato where it's alleged he befriended another 14-year-old girl at a church.

"He started by groping her and it made her uncomfortable and every time she told him to stop he said he would hurt her family."

It was when he was attending a sporting event with her and her family that he has forced his hands down her pants and forced her into having oral sex, the court was told.

Around Christmas 2012, Dockary was staying the night at the complainant's house.

It's alleged that's when several more sexual acts took place, including intercourse.

In her opening submission, Cameron said her client was 17 when the alleged offending began.

She said her client admitted engaging in sexual activity with the girls but denied raping them.

"So how far these acts went and if they extended to intercourse because the defendant denies sexual intercourse but accepts a wide range of intimacy of various types.

"This is a case that's firmly focused on consent, whether these girls consented to this sexual activity, whether they permitted it ...the defence would say that they consented and that Mr Dockary had reasonable grounds to believe ... that each girl was consenting."

The trial is set down for about seven days.

Judge Kim Saunders is presiding.