A 58-year-old man has been found guilty of committing sexual offences at reclusive Christian community Glorivale, some of which were historical charges dating back to the 1980s.
The Greymouth District Court found the man guilty on 11 recent charges today and referred him for sentencing next March, when he would also be sentenced for offending against five other victims.
Detective Senior Sergeant Kirsten Norton, of the West Coast Police District, said police were pleased to have a resolution but she wanted to highlight the “lasting and long-reaching impact on survivors of sexual abuse.
“It is yet another significant step in the mission of many past and current members of the Gloriavale Christian Community to ensure that the current children of Gloriavale are safe from this type of harm now and in the future,” Norton said.
“I would also like to acknowledge the support workers and agencies, our team of investigators, and the Crown Prosecutors who put so much time and dedication into this case to support and allow the victims to have a voice.”
Norton said it was “very challenging ... for those involved [the victims] to finally be heard and hold him to account for the harm he has caused”.
She said the Gloriavale Investigation team had “the utmost respect for the courage of these individuals”.
Norton asked others who may have been sexually abused to contact police or another support service.
A spokesman for police said they understood it could be hard to come forward, but multiple support services were available to help make a police report.
Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.