A central Otago man has been found guilty of sexually abusing four young girls.
After deliberating for half a day, the jury yesterday returned unanimous verdicts at the Dunedin District Court on three charges of rape, three of indecency with a girl under 12, two of committing indecent acts on a young person under 16 and one of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.
The 61-year-old defendant, who shook his head as the guilty verdicts piled up against him, was granted continued name suppression by Judge Michael Crosbie until sentencing in December.
The judge said a term of imprisonment was inevitable, and remanded the man in custody.
Before dismissing the jurors, Judge Crosbie informed them the defendant had previous similar convictions, details of which cannot be published until sentencing.
The allegations which led to the most recent trial arose in 2015 when a woman came forward to say the defendant had abused her when she was a child.
Prompted by her complaint, three others came forward with similarly distressing stories.
Most of the abuse took place between 1999 and 2006, the court heard, with some as recently as 2010.
The defendant flatly denied the offending, according to his counsel Bill Dawkins, although he did not speak to police on his arrest or give evidence at trial.
Mr Dawkins suggested the allegations against his client came from ''some sort of conspiracy or vendetta'' and that the complainants got together, ''colluded, cooked up a story''.
But the jury disagreed.
Crown counsel Robin Bates said there was nothing suspicious about the victims coming forward so many years after they were abused.
They did not speak up until much later because it was only then they had become aware of the impact of the defendant's actions, he said.
The women did not want it to happen to others and had been brave enough to say something.