Prominent Kiwi on sex charges keeps name secret

The prominent New Zealander on trial for indecent assault has been described as a rich and influential businessman who used his powerful position to take advantage of two men.

Crown prosecutor Simon Foote told the Auckland District Court in his opening statements on Tuesday that the accused made unwanted sexual contact with the two men, one in 2008 and the other in 2016. Both occurred at his home.

He is also accused of trying to get one of the men to withdraw his complaint to police.

After having dinner with a 25-year-old man in 2008 he showed him around the house, ending with his bedroom where the Crown alleges he squeezed his bottom, said "you have such a sweet arse" and tried to kiss his neck.

The Crown also described an alleged indecent assault in 2016, also at the prominent New Zealander's home.

Mr Foote said the second complainant was in his early twenties and was living at his home at the time.

"He went into the complainant's room in the middle of the night... wearing only black underwear and said 'I want to hold you, I want embrace you' before reaching into the man's shorts and masturbating him."

Mr Foote says the man made a complaint to police immediately and moved out of the house.

The Crown says the two complainants don't know each other and made their complaints separately.

The prominent New Zealander is also charged, along with his business manager and a well-known entertainer, with attempting to get the second complainant to drop the charges by offering him $15,000 and future work.

One of the attempts allegedly involved "elaborate" efforts by all three defendants on the Gold Coast in Australia during May 2017, the court heard.

All three have pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

They all have name suppression, although the prominent New Zealander's was revoked on Tuesday morning.

He has launched an appeal against the decision and still cannot be named.

The defence will give its opening statement this afternoon.


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