A former Dilworth School student was told by a senior staff member that his alleged abuser was a "great guy", a court heard today.
The former student said the conversation with the staff member "possibly" influenced his decision not to lay a complaint against the teacher who allegedly abused him, Leonard Cave.
Cave has pleaded not guilty to abusing the man and five other former students in Auckland and Hamilton, and his trial is ongoing at Auckland High Court.
The man, who cannot be named, accused Cave of forcing him to perform oral sex on him while staying at the teacher's bach on Waiheke Island.
In his opening remarks yesterday, prosecutor Jacob Barry said Cave resigned from the school in the mid-1980s in relation to a separate complaint of sexual abuse.
After Cave's resignation, the former student said today he was approached by a staff member, Bruce Owen, in the rear carpark of the school.
Owen told him "what a great guy Mr Cave was", the complainant confirmed in court today.
Asked whether that influenced his decision not to make a complaint against Cave to the school or other authorities, he said "Possibly. It was a little bit late by then, because Mr Cave had just left.
"I was fairly well indoctrinated to the school by then and I really didn't wanna make too many waves."
Owen became deputy headmaster at Dilworth, though it is not clear what his role was at the time of the alleged conversation.
The complainant's sister also gave evidence today, and said she wanted to highlight the school's response.
"He was called [to the carpark] and told he was never to mention it again," she said. "The school knew about it and chose to ignore it."
The complainant earlier said he had stayed at Cave's bach on Onetangi Beach at Waiheke on three or four weekends.
On the last occasion, he and Cave drank an entire bottle of whisky on the beach and he was so intoxicated that his former teacher had to piggyback him up to the bach, he said.
When they arrived back at the bach, Cave attempted to force him into oral sex, the court heard.
"For a little while I complied. I didn't really register what was going on perhaps, because I was pretty drunk," he said.
"I guess I felt a little subservient towards him due to my long relationship with [him] as my teacher and choirmaster."
The man did not tell anyone about the incident until about 20 years later, when he revealed the alleged abuse to his two sisters after a few drinks.
Defence lawyer Warren Pyke accused the man of making up much of his story. He said details in his account, including that Cave once pinched his nipple and that he was forced to piggyback him up to his bach, never happened.
"You're just making that up," Pyke said, to which the man said he was not.
Pyke later said Cave never removed his clothes at the Waiheke bach and that other key details were also made up.
"Those are just a tissue of lies, are they not?"
"It is the complete truth," the man replied.
Pyke also asked him about contact he had with Cave after the alleged abuse, saying he maintained an ongoing, friendly relationship with him. The complainant said this was not the case.
The trial is ongoing.