7 Mar 2019

Court hears of 'terrifying' alleged assault by high-profile NZer

2:31 pm on 7 March 2019

A court has heard a high-profile businessman got into bed with a young man and groped his privates.

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Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The prominent New Zealander, who has name suppression, is on trial in the Auckland District Court this month.

He is accused of indecently assaulted two men in 2008 and 2018, and then trying to bribe one of the men to snuff out his police complaint.

Two of his associates, who also have name suppression, are also on trial, charged with one and three charges of attempting to dissuade a witness respectively.

This morning the second complainant said he was sexually assaulted when staying with the accused in October 2016.

The court heard the young man ate some undercooked meat and fell ill with food poisoning later that evening.

He said he was in bed trying to calm his stomach and get some sleep when the businessman opened the door to the room.

"He was wearing nothing," the complainant said.

"[It was] troubling, terrifying. I felt I just wanted to have a sleep, I just wanted my stomach to ease off."

The man told Crown prosecutor Simon Foote he was concerned for his safety because the accused had previously pulled his pants down and stared at his privates on another occasion.

He said on the night he saw the businessman naked the accused removed his jumper and got into bed with him.

"At that time I don't think he knew I was sick. He came onto to the side of the bed, in between the wall and myself, and began spooning me; my back was against his front.

"By that time my stomach was quite sore ... it started spasming. I told him I didn't want him there. He told me everything was going to be okay."

The complainant became emotional when he explained what happened next.

"He started putting his hands down my pants and playing with my penis ... for a moment I thought I should just lie there and just let him do it to me, that it would be over soon but I just couldn't."

He said this went on for several minutes before he shoved the man with his elbow and punched him with his right arm.

"I remember him saying 'don't punch, let me embrace you, let me hold you'."

The man said he got out of the room and, in a lot of pain, was taken to the hospital by a friend for medical help, where he later told a nurse about the alleged assault.

Yesterday the first complainant told the court the man groped him and made sexual remarks during a business meeting at the man's home.

He was accused of fabricating the story because he'd botched the business deal but the man said this was "preposterous".

The prominent businessman has strenuously denied the charges and when first approached by police he told them the allegations were "completely untrue" in a letter.

At the start of the trial Judge Collins refused the man's application for name suppression but his identify remains secret on appeal.