12 Apr 2003

Details of charges in Pitcairn Island sex case

9:08 am on 12 April 2003

The deputy governor of Pitcairn Island says he is pleased a judicial process is underway to consider allegations of sexual offences within the tiny community.

Nine men are facing a total of 64 charges including rape and indecent assault, with some of the alleged offences dating back 40 years.

The deputy governor, Matthew Forbes, says the charges are very serious and must be dealt with by the courts.

He says there has been much speculation about the effect on the community, and officials are working hard to ensure a secure future for Pitcairn.

Details about the complaints were originally suppressed, but released following a hearing on the island this week.

The next hearing will be in Auckland in about 3 weeks.