A teenager charged with the attack of a five-year-old girl in a Turangi camp ground had to wipe away tears throughout his first appearance at the Taupo Youth Court on Thursday afternoon.
The 16-year-old, who was arrested on Wednesday, is charged with sexual violation, aggravated assault and burglary.
Radio New Zealand's reporter at the court said the teenager struggled to get words out from the first minute of his court appearance when the judge asked him to introduce his family in the public gallery.
She reported that his lips continued to tremble through out the five minute appearance and the police prosecutor had to hand him tissues as he became more emotional as the judge explained there would be a lengthy court process ahead.
Almost all details of the teenager's appearance have been suppressed because of his age.
The teen, who was dressed in jeans, a T-shirt and was barefoot did not apply for bail.
He'll next appear in court on 12 January.
As he was led from court his mother yelled out that she loved him despite being earlier warned not to communicate with him.