Solomons' missionary charged with indecently assaulting young girls

4:59 pm on 1 August 2019

An Australian missionary who has been charged with indecently assaulting five young girls in Solomon Islands, is due back in court next week.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

The 72-year-old, Kevin Reitveld, was arrested on 24 June in relation to incidents that allegedly occurred between 2010 and 2012.

From 1998 to 2012 Reverend Reitveld was in charge of a mission for the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia.

He was a popular figure in the community with a regular column in one of the local newspapers.

The allegations of indecent assault did not arise until Mr Reitveld departed the country in 2012.

When he returned to Solomon Islands in June he was arrested, charged with nine counts of indecent acts against minors and remanded in custody.

He is due to back in court next Friday 9 August.

Solomon Islands police commissioner Matthew Varley praised the girls, who were under the age of 15 at the time, for having the courage to come forward.

Police are urging anyone else who may have been affected to contact police.

The Christian Reformed Churches of Australia said that they strongly encouraged police to follow up on any allegations, but refused to make any further comment at this stage.