8 May 2014

Officer admits touching teenager

8:15 pm on 8 May 2014

A Hawke's Bay police officer has admitted intimately touching a 16-year-old woman while off duty but claims it was consensual.

Flaxmere constable Adam Dunnett, 37, has denied nine charges of indecent assault on five teenagers in 2011 and 2012 at the Ocean Beach Surf Club and Taradale Fire Station.

But in the Napier District Court on Thursday, Mr Dunnett admitted sexual contact with one teenager on Christmas Eve 2011 at the surf lifesaving club.

However, he claims it was consensual. He also admitted buying alcohol for her.

The prosecution alleged Mr Dunnett's experience as a police officer meant he could tailor evidence to best suit his interests, and that he had not acknowledged his responsibility in the alleged offences.

Earlier on Thursday, one charge of indecent assault was dropped after the complainant failed to give evidence relating to that particular charge.

The judge-only trial, before Judge Les Atkins, continues on Friday, when the defence is expected to call more witnesses.