Prominent Dunedin men charged with serious sex offences

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
Two prominent Dunedin men have been charged with serious sex offences in unrelated cases and have had their identities suppressed.

They were each granted bail following appearances at the Dunedin District Court yesterday.

The first — a man in his 70s with links to the religious sector — allegedly abused a boy in the 1990s.

He was charged with indecent assault of a child under 12 and sexual violation, which carry potential terms of imprisonment of 10 and 20 years respectively.

The defendant’s bail conditions included he surrender his passport and not leave the country, and he was barred from unauthorised contact with any under-16-year-olds, excluding his grandchildren.

The second man, aged in his 40s, who gained prominence in the education sphere, pleaded not guilty to six charges of indecent assault and one of grooming a person aged under 16, all of which hold a maximum jail sentence of seven years.

The alleged sex abuse took place in a range of popular holiday destinations around the South Island between 2021 and August this year, according to court documents.

He, too, agreed to surrender his passport and not to associate with anyone under the age of 16.

An additional condition of bail was that he refrained from contacting children on any social media or websites.

The defendant was not permitted within 100km of Dunedin unless attending court.

He elected trial by jury and will next appear in court in February, while the other man entered no plea and will come before a judge next month.