Five young men with links to Opotiki College have been discharged without conviction after pleading guilty to having sex with underage girls.
The men, aged 17 and 18 at the time of the offending, pleaded guilty at Opotiki District Court this morning, to charges of unlawful sexual connection relating to five girls, mostly aged 14.
The men's lawyers had argued the sex was consensual.
Judge Peter Rollo decided convicting the young men would be disproportionate to the offending.
None of the offending, which took place between February and August last year, happened at the school.
All of the men, whose names would remain suppressed, were ordered to pay $500 in reparation.