2 Mar 2016

Ex-Pitcairn mayor had sex chat with 'teen' - Crown

5:22 pm on 2 March 2016

The Crown has told two Pitcairn Islanders that they have a chance to tell the world what is acceptable behaviour on the island, 11 years after the child sex abuse trials made headlines around the world.

Former mayor of the island Michael Warren was convicted earlier this week of 20 charges of possessing child sex videos and images.

In this latest trial Warren faces additional charges of possessing indecent material and having an online sex chat with a person purporting to be a 15 year-old girl.

The case is being heard under Pitcairn law in front of Judge Arthur Tompkins and two assessors, selected from the island's population of about 50 people.

Today in his closing address Crown prosecutor Kieran Raftery made reference to the historic child sex abuse trial that took place in 2004. In those cases eight men were jailed for rape and sex abuse.

Mr Raftery reminded the assessors the island was trying to rehabilitate itself in the eyes of the world and this was their chance to tell the court and everyone else what was acceptable and what was grossly indecent.

The explicit video which Warren is charged with possessing shows a bound and gagged, naked woman.

Mr Raftery said the actions inflicted on the woman could have caused her serious injury.

But Warren's lawyer said there was nothing indecent about the online chat or the video. Graeme Edgeler said the video was made with professional actors who had agreed to take part and put it on the internet.

He said the online sex chat was so bizarre that it could not be real and was ridiculous.

Mr Edgeler said the assessors could not even be sure the girl was real.

Tomorrow morning the assessors will hear a summary of the case from Judge Tompkins before retiring to consider whether the chat and video are indecent.

Judge Tompkins will then issue his finding; he is not bound by what the assessors decide.

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