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Name revealed: Former Dilworth music teacher accused of historic sexual abuse

Author
Craig Kapitan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Nov 2021, 2:39pm
Organist Leonard Cave. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Organist Leonard Cave. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Name revealed: Former Dilworth music teacher accused of historic sexual abuse

Author
Craig Kapitan, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Nov 2021, 2:39pm

Another former Dilworth School employee accused of historic sexual abuse can now be identified for the first time.

He is Leonard Cave, 75, of Whanganui, whose previous media attention has been for his church organ performances.

Cave has had his name suppressed since his first court appearance in 2020 alongside multiple other defendants, until this week.

He faces 17 charges relating to sexual violation, indecent assault, sexual exploitation and supplying drugs to boys between 1970 and 2008. The offences are alleged to have occurred in Auckland and Hamilton.

Leonard Cave, a defendant in the Dilworth School child sexual abuse case who previosuly had name suppression, appears at Auckland District Court in October 2020. Photo / Michael Craig

He has pleaded not guilty and is set to go to trial next year.

Cave first had contact with Dilworth as a tutor while at Auckland University and was hired as head of the school's music department in 1975, according to school journal The Dilworthian.

"He also enjoys relaxation at his Waiheke Island retreat and is an amateur potter and member of the Herpetological Society," a 1984 entry states.

Later that year, he left Dilworth after accepting a job at a school in Pukekohe.

He finished his career in Hamilton at St Paul's Collegiate, where some of the abuse is alleged to have taken place, before retiring to Whanganui.

Police announced the arrests of seven men in September 2020, the result of an investigation into historical abuse at Dilworth dubbed Operation Beverly.

By June of this year, police had spoken to 150 former students about the allegations.

Of the former students who came forward, 122 told police they were abused by teachers, tutors, housemasters, Scout leaders and chaplains at the private Auckland boarding school, which opened in 1906 with the aim of helping boys from disadvantaged families.

More than 100 charges have been filed against 12 men.

Three of the men have been found guilty and three have died while awaiting trial.

Kāpiti Coast resident Johnathan Stephens, 73, pleaded guilty last month to two charges of indecent assault of a boy under the age of 16 dating back to 1971. He is set to be sentenced in January.

Former vicar Ross Douglas Browne also pleaded guilty last month to allegations he abused boys between 1987 and 2004 and possessed objectionable material in 2020.

In March, former Scoutmaster Ian Robert Wilson was sentenced to three years and seven months for sexual abuse of five students between 1975 and 1992.