Man acquitted of nine sex charges

A man has been acquitted of the nine sexual charges he faced following a week-long jury trial.

The suppression of his identity and occupation was continued by Judge Maria Pecotic on Friday in the Invercargill District Court.

A hearing for permanent name suppression to be argued was set down for next month.

The man, in his 30s, was found not guilty on five charges of doing an indecent act, two charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and two charges of rape.

In Judge Pecotic’s summing up on Friday she told the jury to decide the verdict emotionlessly.

"Your natural reaction to unpleasant or pleasant behaviour or matters are irrelevant and dangerous," she said.

"You may have strong feelings about sexual offending against young children. . . it is important that you put those strong feelings and emotions to one side."

The defendant maintained he never behaved in an inappropriate manner toward the complainant at any time and was "deeply hurt by the allegations".

Counsel Bill Dawkins encouraged the jury to put the complainant’s evidence "under the microscope" and consider the lack of details and inconsistencies in her recounting of events.

As the verdicts were passed, the defendant broke down in tears, as did his family who had been supporting him throughout the trial.

Members of the family performed a haka for the defendant as he left the court. , PIJF court reporter