Rugby coach guilty of 95 child sex charges

Alosio Taimo was on trial in the High Court at Auckland since August. Photo: NZ Herald
Alosio Taimo was on trial in the High Court at Auckland since August. Photo: NZ Herald
An Auckland school rugby coach facing more than 100 charges of sexually abusing 18 young boys has been found guilty of the majority of his offending.

Alosio Taimo's trial in the High Court at Auckland began in August this year before a jury heard the allegations against the 55-year-old which dated back to the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Today, the jury returned verdicts on each individual charge - a total of 106, finding him guilty of all but 11 charges.

Taimo stood in the dock while each verdict was read and showed no emotion.

He was accused of abusing boys at his home, in his car, in school sports sheds, in a classroom, and in a South Auckland park from 1987 to 2016.

Crown prosecutor Jasper Rhodes said the youngest of Taimo's alleged victims was 9 at the time, while the eldest was 16.

Initially, there were nine complainants and 53 charges against Taimo, who came to New Zealand from Samoa in 1987 and initially moved in with his sister in the suburb of Ōtara.

Rhodes said Taimo's offending first came to light when one of the boys' aunty overheard him "talking to other children about what had happened".

After The New Zealand Herald and other media published Taimo's name more complainants came forward. The allegations grew to 83 charges and 18 complainants.

One of the complainants, now 41, said during the trial: "As a 12-year-old you're pretty much - your body's frozen."

"At that age, you're more in shock. Now that I'm sitting here, and I'm 41, you just think back and you're just helpless," he told the court.

He said Taimo touched him twice.

"When you're by yourself - that's when the darkness happens," he said.

Taimo's defence argued all the allegations were "lies" and a "fabrication".

"That's not true," Taimo said when he took the stand to give evidence in his own defence.

"I never did that to him ... That's never happened."

He remained on the stand for days as he was questioned, challenged and asked to give his version of events.

"That's ridiculous," he said of the allegations.

The list of charges, however, grew during the trial to 106, while the Crown also revealed a graphic photograph found on Taimo's phone showing him engaged in a sexual act with a young man.

The image was described but not shown to the jury after Justice Simon Moore ruled it was too graphic.

The young man in the photograph with Taimo was not one of the complainants.

Suppression orders prevent the Herald from naming any schools or sports clubs associated with Taimo's alleged offending.

During the trial, Taimo's interpreter was also accused of contempt of court after two jurors told Justice Moore she approached them to talk about the case, while also offering home-baked muffins.

She was granted interim name suppression and will appear in court again later this year.

Taimo, meanwhile, will be sentenced in December.

 

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