Home detention for sex offender, 79

By Jimmy Ellingham editorial@age.co.nz -
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Former Wairarapa chiropractor Albert Gerald Adams, 79, was earlier found guilty of three sexual assault charges and was sentenced to home detention. PHOTO/FILE
Former Wairarapa chiropractor Albert Gerald Adams, 79, was earlier found guilty of three sexual assault charges and was sentenced to home detention. PHOTO/FILE

An elderly chiropractor found guilty of indecently touching young men at his clinic in the 1970s and 1980s still denies any wrongdoing and wonders why the victims took decades to come forward.

Albert Gerald Adams said that to a probation officer writing a report for the 79-year-old's sentencing in the Wellington District Court yesterday.

"Probation says you were adamant that you did not offend sexually against the victims and you never acted improperly while practising as a chiropractor," Judge Jan Kelly told Adams, as she handed down eight months' home detention.

Yesterday, he arrived late to court, having caught a train from the Kapiti Coast after a drive from his Napier home. He sat low in the dock throughout the hearing and then hung his head when asked to stand.

In the public gallery one of his victims looked on as the judge said he told probation had didn't recall any unusual events.

"You were surprised that it took the victims nearly 40 years to make a complaint."

However, Judge Kelly last month found him guilty on three charges of indecent assault.

The men came forward after reading a newspaper article about a separate trial, in which Adams was acquitted.

In sentencing, the judge said Adams abused his position of trust as a health professional and the victims were vulnerable.

She took into account Adams' age and health problems and gave him credit for his lack of other convictions and for staying out of trouble in the 30 years since the indecent assaults.

Adams' offending began in the late 1970s, when he touched a boy, aged in his teens. The boy came to him for treatment on a troublesome back.

Adams then indecently assaulted a man who came to him for treatment, aged in his early 20s, in the early 1980s.

The final charge related to a teenage boy in the mid-1980s who went to Adams with a sore back and was indecently assaulted.

Each victim was indecently assaulted once and Judge Kelly said their statements to the court spoke of the effect the offending and having to re-live it in court had on them.

Defence lawyer Matt Dixon said Adams had heart problems and argued for him to serve home detention.

Crown prosecutor Matt Ferrier said the offending involved repeated assaults. "It was gratuitous touching essentially, presumably for the defendant's sexual gratification."

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