1 Sep 2017

Former Shortland Street actor Rene Naufahu admits indecent assault

12:22 pm on 1 September 2017

Former Shortland Street actor Rene Naufahu has pleaded guilty to six charges of indecent assault against six women following one-on-one acting lessons with clients.

Rene Naufahu

Rene Naufahu Photo: Supplied

Naufahu originally faced 17 charges including indecent assault and unlawful sexual connection.

His lawyer, Ron Mansfield, said the more serious charges had been dropped.

The complainants were part of Naufahu's group acting class and were invited to attend private one-on-one acting lessons from 2010 to 2013.

The prosecution summary of facts said he put his hands down the pants of one complainant under the guise of acting coaching.

Other complainants said he kissed them or touched their breasts or buttocks.

Naufahu asked each woman to keep quiet about the classes because "he didn't want other students to become jealous", the summary said.

He "told the complainants that he believed they were very talented actors and he wanted to develop their talent".

The 47-year-old award-winning actor, known for his role as ambulance driver Sam Aleni on the long-running TV soap, was due to face trial in the Auckland District Court on Monday on 17 charges. The number of charges was reduced before his guilty plea.