Indecent assault admitted

A 62-year-old Otago man in a position of responsibility has admitted indecently assaulting a teenage male on a tramping trip in the Mount Aspiring area almost 40 years ago.

The man, whose name is suppressed, appeared in the Dunedin District Court before Judge Kevin Phillips yesterday.

He admitted a charge of indecently assaulting the boy, who is now a 52-year-old man and whose name is also suppressed, at Wanaka on or before May 18, 1975.

At the time the man was in his mid-20s and the boy was 14.

The man was convicted and remanded on bail to May 27 for sentencing.

Judge Phillips said the victim in the case did not want the man's name to be suppressed, and it was likely that the interim suppression order would be lifted when he was sentenced.

Until it is lifted, details which can identify the man cannot be published.

The police summary of facts stated the man and a colleague took five males on a tramping trip to the Mount Aspiring area in May 1975.

About May 18, the group tramped to a hut which had two bunk rooms, each with bench mattresses from wall to wall and able to sleep up to a dozen people.

One night the man slept beside the boy. They were in separate sleeping bags.

The boy was woken by the man persistently pressing against his bottom and back.

The boy rolled away and went back to sleep, but was again woken by the man, who had put his hand inside the boy's sleeping bag.

He indecently assaulted the boy, who rolled away and tightened the drawstring around his sleeping bag so the man could not reach inside.

When spoken to by police, the man said he could not remember the trip and denied the indecent assault.

The man had no previous convictions, the summary stated.