23 Sep 2011

Man found guilty of sex offending against young people

9:00 pm on 23 September 2011

A High Court jury has convicted a Wellington man of 19 charges involving repeated sexual offending against young people.

The charges related to offending against six young people between 1997 and 2008.

The man, whose identity is suppressed, had faced 20 charges including rape, indecent assault and committing indecent acts on young people.

After more than two days of deliberating, the jury on Friday found the man guilty on all charges except one of indecent assault for which it could not reach a verdict.

The Crown said the man first befriended his victims, progressing to serious offending before each one turned 16.

He denied having sexual contact with three of his victims and said the physical relationships he had with three others took place after their 16th birthdays.

The convicted man will be sentenced in October and the Crown says it will seek a sentence of preventive detention.

Detective Damian Doocey says police spent more than a year investigating the case and the verdicts are a relief for the victims.

The trial began on 29 August and the jury heard evidence from 18 witnesses, including the six complainants and the accused.

Justice Williams told jurors they had completed a difficult task and help is available through the Ministry of Justice for those struggling with the memories of the trial.