18 Feb 2013

Crown to seek indefinite jail term for paedophile

10:17 pm on 18 February 2013

The Crown is to seek preventive detention for a former Wellington art gallery owner who sexually abused young boys and posted images of his offending online.

Aaron Laurence appeared in the Wellington District Court on Monday on 66 charges, including the sexual violation of boys and making and distributing objectionable publications.

A summary presented in court showed that his offending occurred between 1999 and 2011 involving at least eight children aged between eight and 13 years old at a number of places.

The 39-year-old was caught in 2011 after a detective found him on the internet offering to share child exploitation material including images of his sexual experiences with young boys.

A search of his computer found more than 31,000 images, of which 98% were classified as objectionable.

Laurence told police that he had been in love with his first victim, an eight-year-old boy he met when he was in his early 20s.

Judge Ian Mill said given the nature and extent of Laurence's offending, preventive detention should be considered.

The judge remanded Laurence in custody to be sentenced in the Wellington High Court in April.