The latest man to be named in relation to alleged offending at Dilworth School has been involved with a theatre company involving young Scouts and Guides for nearly 50 years.
Ross Douglas Browne was Dilworth's chaplain from 1979 until 2006. He was ordained in 1972 and an assistant priest at St Matthew's in the City before his appointment at the school.
The 72-year-old has been heavily involved in Scouts, amateur theatrical company the Auckland Gang Show and in more recent years the vicar of St Luke's Anglican Church in Manurewa.
Browne is facing three charges of indecently assaulting boys under the age of 16 and one of inducing a boy under the age of 12 to do an indecent act on him.
The charges relate to alleged offending between 1991 and 2002.
He chose not to pursue name suppression when he appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning.
Browne resigned from the private boarding school at the beginning of 2006 after 26 years in the position.
Along with the church Browne had a passion for Scouts - he became an assistant Scout director in the late 1960s - and also for the arts.
He became the founding director and producer of the Auckland Gang Show in the early 1970s. In 2013 he was presented with a special service award for his 40 years of service to the show and retired as director last year.
The show community is said to be devastated by the news of his arrest.
Browne was the vicar of St Luke's Anglican Church in Manurewa for at least 10 years - a place he attended as a child until he started university.
He's also been involved in Radio Luke, a small station playing a mix of Christian music that has some input from local youth and members of the community.
He was one of two men who appeared in court this morning.
The other man, a 73-year-old who is facing 10 charges including indecent assault, sexual violation and supplying drugs to boys, has been granted continued interim name suppression.
The charges, dating between 1985 and 2008, are in relation to offences that allegedly occurred in Auckland and Hamilton.
Browne and the 73-year-old are two of seven former Dilworth teaching staff who were charged last month with a number of serious offences, many of them sexual, against 17 victims. The charges relate to offending between the 1970s and late 2000s.
All were initially granted name suppression but two of the five who appeared yesterday gave up their bid to keep their names secret.
They are Alister Grant Harlow and Ian Wilson.
Harlow, a 60-year-old Hillsborough accountant, faces one charge of indecent assault on a boy over the age of 16 in 1990.
Wilson, who didn't have an occupation listed on his charge sheets, is accused of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 16 on 12 different occasions between 1979 and 1982.
The 69-year-old Maraetai man was also charged with inducing a different boy aged under 16 to do an indecent act on him in 1977.
The Herald revealed last night both Harlow and Wilson were involved in the school's Scouts group while they were there.
Scouts chief executive Joshua Tabor said police have been in contact about the Dilworth allegations and the organisation was "co-operating with the investigation".
As name suppression has been lifted for Harlow, Wilson and Browne the organisation reached out to the young people, parents and volunteers associated with the Dilworth group to offer support.
None of the men are still involved in Scouts.
Tabor said support was also being offered to the Auckland Gang Show community.
"We can confirm that Mr Browne, the Dilworth School Chaplain, was also the long serving director of the Auckland Central Gang Show, a biannual Scout & Guide related musical theatre production. Mr Browne served in the role for 50 years until 2019," he said.
"The Auckland Central Gang Show community is devastated by the allegations and is being supported by Scouts New Zealand."
The other three men who appeared in court yesterday are:
A 78-year-old who is facing three charges of indecent assault, relating to two boys.
A 69-year-old who is facing one charge of indecent assault.
A 72-year-old who is facing four charges of indecent assault, relating to three boys.
It has been a shock for New Zealanders to learn that several former staff at Auckland's Dilworth School have been charged with sex and drug offences against boys over more than three decades. We want you, our readers, to know that the Herald will follow this story wherever it leads. We have a team of journalists prepared to investigate and we want to hear from you. If you have any information please contact us at email@example.com
NZ Herald Editor
Where to get help:
• If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334. (available 24/7)
• Male Survivors Aotearoa offers a range of confidential support at centres across New Zealand - find your closest one here.
• Mosaic - Tiaki Tangata: 0800 94 22 94 (available 11am - 8pm)
• Alternatively contact your local police station
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