Warning: Distressing content
The father of one of the young girls allegedly groomed and sexually abused by a Cambridge equestrian has told the court how he had trusted her to keep his daughter safe.
Laken Maree Rose, 31, is defending 61 charges in the High Court at Hamilton this week, heard before Justice Matthew Muir in a judge-alone trial. The offending happened between 2014 and 2019.
Her former partner Andrew Williams, 54, yesterday pleaded guilty to 56 child sex-act charges and is to be sentenced in February.
The father of one of the girls, in a witness statement read out in court on the second day of the trial, has told how the couple had befriended their daughter, played with her and other kids at the campground pool and down by the river during their stay at the Bay of Plenty campground.
They were also buying treats for the children from the camp shop during their long summer stay.
He said his daughter would visit Williams and Rose at their caravan/cabin on her way to the pool and they would allow it because Rose was also there.
"I felt it was ok that [my daughter] would spend time with Andy and Laken because Laken was there. A female was present."
One time his daughter had asked to go to the river with Williams alone and he refused.
But on learning of the incidents, he felt having Rose there only "added to the grooming" and couldn't imagine a time when she wouldn't have been present.
The family had dinner with the couple four to five times over their long holiday.
"I was uncomfortable at times with them around - they would always want to spend time with us and our children," the father said.
The parents only became aware of what the couple had been doing to their daughter at the end of their long stay when another camp mum told them after dinner one night that she had something "disturbing" to tell them.
The girl had told the other mother about an experience she had with a man where she had "played with his penis
The friend told them it sounded "far more factual than fiction".
"Immediately I had a strong feeling as to who it would be. I turned to my wife and indicated who it would be and she agreed. I said to her I thought it would be Andy," the father said.
The next morning they sat down with their daughter who confirmed to them it was Williams and he had told her to touch his penis and that they had all been in the bed naked.
Williams had also taken photos of her posing naked down by the river while Rose was present.
When the father asked his daughter what she thought about it, she said it was "weird" but was scared her parents would stop her having Rose and WIlliams as friends and did not want them to get in trouble.
As soon as they learned about what had been happening, the family left the campground and laid a complaint with police.
The parents also sent a text from their daughter's phone to Rose with the words: "Don't contact our children again. We are seeking legal advice today."
The couple then sent a further text from the mother's phone urging them to take themselves to the Police station and make a statement.
Later in the day, Crown prosecutor Anna Pollett read out a range of texts between the couple during their stay, showing Williams and Rose planning interactions with the young girl and how Rose promised to chat with her promising him he would "get something".
Among the text messages included Williams telling Rose he had played in the pool with the girl and how she had rubbed her hands on him.
In other texts, he spoke how he was waiting for the girl to come back after playing with her friends.
He also texted Rose to say he was waiting to see if the girl would "give him time" and was just lying in bed alone as the girl was with friends.
Other text messages between Williams and Rose about another victim also show them discussing how Rose planned to groom the girl and get sexy poses of the girl wearing tight jodhpurs to send to him as it makes them both "so horny".
The trial continues.
SEXUAL HARM - DO YOU NEED 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 contact Safe to Talk confidentially:
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• Text 4334
• Email email@example.com
• For more info or to web chat visit www.safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station -