5 teens arrested over sex charges in Opotiki

  • 01/12/2015
(File)
(File)

Five teenagers have been arrested following allegations of sexual offending involving students at Opotiki College.

The young men, aged between 17 and 18, were charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a young person under 16 today.

Police say the group have links to the Opotiki College, but there is no information to suggest any of the alleged offending happened on school grounds or that staff were involved.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper thanked the local community for their patience as police investigated the allegations but warned the case was not yet over.

"While we have made arrests today, there is still a long way to go in the inquiry, and we will be continuing to support those who have come forward and their families as we work through the judicial process," he said.

Opotiki College board of trustees chair Fred Cookson said the school is cooperating with police and the health and safety of the students remains a top priority.

"[We want] to make sure that our students are being well looked after and that they are able to continue their day to day education without any undue stress or interruption. We know that parents are also focused on this," he says.

Police said in September they were investigating multiple allegations of sexual offending.

The five men will appear in Opotiki District Court on December 3.

NZN/3 News