Gloriavale man admits historical sexual offending charges

A sign welcoming people to the Gloriavale Christian Community. Photo: RNZ
A sign welcoming people to the Gloriavale Christian Community. Photo: RNZ
A Gloriavale man admitted three charges of sexual offending that took place at the isolated Christian community 15 years ago.

Ready Standtrue, 32, did not seek continued name suppression in the Greymouth District Court yesterday.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of indecently assaulting a female over the age of 16, and one of sexual violation.

Standtrue was aged 16 and 17 at the time of the offending.

According to the police summary of facts, Standtrue was born at the Gloriavale Christian Community in Haupiri, as was his victim. The woman left two years ago.

The offending began in mid-2008 after Standtrue saw the victim naked as she got out of the shower.

Some weeks later he went to her bunk bed believing she was asleep and unaware of his actions.

He did this on three occasions over some months until ceasing the behaviour after a period of "deep prayer and fasting" that ultimately led him to believe that God had saved him.

Standtrue later disclosed his offending to his wife shortly after his marriage in 2009.

He remained unaware of his victim’s knowledge of his actions until 2020, when the victim’s husband spoke to him about the impact of the offending on his wife and on their relationship.

The sexual abuse she suffered, and lack of belief that views around sexual offending had changed within Gloriavale, were key factors in her decision to leave the community in 2021.

Later that year, in learning Standtrue had started a teaching position at the community school, the victim asked him to own up to his actions so she could be sure he was safe around children.

In February last year, Standtrue handed himself in at the Greymouth Police Station and admitted he had had been exposed to an act of harmful sexual behaviour.

He became aroused after seeing his victim in the shower, leading him to "give in to lust and temptation".

Police said it clear Standtrue was ashamed of his actions.

Judge Noel Walsh convicted Standtrue on each charge and ordered a full pre-sentence report ahead of sentencing on January 19.