8 Nov 2011

Accused gives evidence in child sex tour trial

6:33 pm on 8 November 2011

The first New Zealander to be charged with operating and promoting a child sex tour has told the High Court in Auckland that he'd tried to warn a potential client not to have sex with underage boys in Thailand.

The 47 year old, whose name is suppressed, faces up to 14 years in jail if convicted of both charges.

The Auckland man was arrested last year after an undercover police officer posed as a client, asking the accused to help him find underage boys to have sex with in Thailand.

The accused says he told the man he wouldn't help him do anything illegal and that he didn't like prostitution, because "you didn't get to know the men involved".

He began his evidence by telling the court he is sexually attracted to boys who have been through puberty and was in a relationship with an 18-year-old Vietnamese man at the time of his alleged offending.

He said he had only wanted to organise legal tours and did not promote any illegal activity on his website.

He told the court keywords such as gay sex and young boys which linked to his website were unintentional.

However, the accused admitted giving the undercover officer a phrase card on how to ask for certain things when with a gay man at a bar or hotel.

Although a tour never took place, the Crown alleges that internet searches using the words gay, Thailand, tour, gay sex and boy inferred what kind of tour could be on offer.

The case, which is being heard by only a judge, is expected to finish on Wednesday.