A spiritual medium on trial for indecently assaulting a 17-year-old male during a ritual cleansing has been found guilty.
Craig Wright, 35, stood trial in the Napier District Court this week after pleading not guilty to two charges of indecent assault.
This morning the jury delivered unanimous guilty verdicts after four hours of deliberations.
Wright touched the complainant's penis, and then made the teenager touch his own penis, during a spiritual cleansing at a Napier address on May 6 last year.
He was at the address with associates from a local paranormal group and told a detective in a DVD interview, played to the jury on Tuesday, he found the complainant had "an attachment" after poking his finger into the teenager's belly button.
He said he had determined the complainant had an attachment or entity after poking his finger in the teenager's belly button.
The teenager told police Wright had taken him into another room of the house to perform a cleansing ritual when he asked him to lie on his side before taking his pants off and cupping his penis.
The complainant also said the defendant said spirits were making his jeans tight so he removed them and then took the teenager's hand and put it on his own penis.
Throughout the two-day trial the court heard Wright categorically deny the allegations and when asked to explain why the teenager had made such allegations, he said "I have no idea because it didn't happen".
In his closing address Crown prosecutor Cameron Stuart told the jury the incident had begun with genuine concern that there was an attachment or entity in the complainant.
"In those circumstances who are you going to call? Who would you trust to help? If you were in their shoes would you call on someone with the requisite skills to help? Yes you would."
He said there was a significant amount of trust put in Wright and told the jury the teenager didn't remove himself from the situation because he feared his father would overreact and "kill" the defendant.
"His father probably would have tried to kill him ... the complainant would be here giving evidence in court in support of his father not against the defendant."
He also told the jury the teenager's delayed admission didn't mean his evidence was untrue.
"There are as many ways of reacting as there are people in the world. There is no right way to react to sexual abuse. It depends on the person and the circumstances."
In his closing address Wright's defence lawyer, Alan Cressey, told the jury the complainant had a vendetta against Wright and his paranormal group and said the teenager's claims were implausible because he had every opportunity to remove himself from the situation.
"I suggest to you that either [the complainant's] mind was playing tricks on him ... or alternatively he has made false accusations. He's lied about being sexually assaulted because he thought Mr Wright was a weirdo."
Wright made headlines last year after claiming to know where the bones of missing Napier woman Annabelle Tumanoko were.
The mother-of-five was 35-years-old when she disappeared in 2007 and at an inquest in 2014, held despite the fact that no body had been found, a coroner delivered an "open finding" that, while a cause or location could not be establish, she had died.
Last August her family handed bones to the Hawke's Bay police that had been found near lake Tutira, between Napier and Wairoa, in a hunt sparked by Wright.
The events had developed after the missing woman's cousin Gayle Te Whaiti attended a show involving Wright, also known as The Spirit Whisperer, said Tumanako had contacted him and had told him how she had died and given other information about where she might be found.
Detective Senior Sergeant Craig Vining later said forensic testing verified the remains were not human, but said police still hoped the public might provide the vital clues to help give the family closure and solve the mystery.
This morning Wright was remanded on bail to be sentenced on June 29 and, when asked by the Judge if he understood the proceedings, he said "I'm very shocked."
The maximum penalty for indecent assault is seven years' imprisonment.