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Wealthy businessman's butler gives evidence in sex abuse trial

Author
Sam Hurley, NZ Herald,
Section
Crime,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 2:33p.m.
A well-known Kiwi is on trial over an alleged case of sexual assault. (Photo / File)
A well-known Kiwi is on trial over an alleged case of sexual assault. (Photo / File)

A wealthy businessman's butler has told of the night the prominent New Zealander allegedly indecently assaulted a young man.

The well-known Kiwi is on trial in the Auckland District Court, alongside his business manager and an entertainer.

He is facing two charges of indecent assault - accused of abusing two young men in February 2008 and October 2016 - and two counts of perverting the course of justice by attempting to dissuade the second complainant from giving evidence at his trial.

The entertainer faces three charges of attempting to dissuade the same man, while the manager is charged with attempting to dissuade the witness on one occasion.

Today, the businessman's butler talked of the night the second complainant was allegedly groped by the wealthy Kiwi, whom he later confronted.

He recalled the alleged victim crouching behind a door, wrapped in a duvet and crying.

The second complainant was staying at the businessman's home in 2016 and earlier told the court he was introduced to the prominent Kiwi by the entertainer.

However, one day after eating uncooked meat at the home he fell ill.

"Once I was in bed ... the door opened," the second complainant earlier told the court said.

"It was [the businessman] and he was standing there ... He was wearing nothing."

Later, he said, the businessman "crawled" into his bed and began touching him.

The young man told the court he then shoved the prominent Kiwi with his elbow and punched him.

"Don't punch, let me embrace you, let me hold you," the businessman allegedly told the young man fleeing the room.

"I ran to [the butler's] room and started banging on his door for help," the second complainant said.

He then recalled "sitting on the floor, curled into a ball" and said to the butler: "[The businessman] is in there, [the businessman] is next door."

Today, the butler corroborated the young man's story.

He said he heard a bang on his door at about 2.30am.

"What's the matter?' he asked the alleged victim.

"[The businessman] is in my room," the young man cried.

The butler said the second complainant was sobbing with his hands over his face.

"You stand there and don't move," the butler said he told the young man.

"I need to figure out what is going on."

The butler went to find the businessman and began calling out his name.

"I said, [businessman] get out here now!"

The businessman then reluctantly appeared, the butler said.

"I said, '[businessman] what are you doing here? This isn't your area'."

The businessman allegedly replied: "It was so strange, so strange."

The butler quipped: "No, the question is what are you doing in the room?"

The businessman didn't reply, the court heard.

"I told [the businessman] to go back to his room and told him I will sort this now."

The wealthy Kiwi allegedly muttered: "It's all very strange."

After returning to his room, the butler said the young man explained that the businessman "touched me".

"Where did he touch you?" the butler said.

"You need to tell me where he touched you. It's really important that you tell me, it's a serious accusation."

The butler said the young man, who was later taken to hospital, didn't elaborate further on the alleged assault.

All three defendants had their interim name suppression revoked earlier this week by Judge Russell Collins after a successful legal challenge by the Herald and Stuff. But their names will remain secret after lawyers for the accused indicated an appeal to the High Court.

The jury trial, now in its second week, continues.

 

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