22 Oct 2015

Social worker's sex charge trial to conclude

4:25 pm on 22 October 2015

The lawyer for a social worker accused of having sex with her underage client, has told a jury she was naive, new to the job and doing her best.

Manukau District Court

Manukau District Court Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Alexia Joseph, 30, is on trial at the Manukau District Court after denying a charge of unlawful sexual connection with the 15-year-old boy in a motel room two years ago.

The jury has now started its deliberations.

In its closing address, Crown prosecutor Evan McCaughan said the jury must decide whether or not Ms Joseph did have sex with him that night.

He said the boy's account of what happened has remained consistent, and it was clear he was telling the truth.

Mr McCaughan said the texts they sent to each other also highlighted their deeply personal relationship and her awareness about how he felt about her.

But her lawyer, Paul Pati, said in his closing address, that Ms Joseph was just one month into her job as a social worker for the Waipareira Trust.

He said not only did she not touch the 15 year old inappropriately at the movies earlier in the day, but they did not have sex at the motel that night.

The Crown argued that the texts between them showed their deep personal relationship, with one text in particular exposing her guilt when she said she forgot to apologise for what happened the other night.

In his summing up, Judge Winter directed the jury to look for the truths and consistencies, and to consider the context and tone of the texts sent between Ms Joseph and the 15-year-old.