3 Nov 2017

Pensioner guilty of historical sex crimes

6:24 pm on 3 November 2017

An 85-year-old Dunedin man has been found guilty of historical sex charges.

Murray Oscar Kannewischer was on trial this week in the Dunedin District Court on 23 sex charges relating to six victims between 1963 and 1983.

Two charges were dismissed during the trial and the jury this evening returned its verdicts on the remaining charges - 13 of indecency with a girl between 12 and 16, five of indecency with a girl under 12, two of rape and one of indecent assault.

The jury unanimously found the pensioner guilty on all counts.

Kannewischer stood impassively in the dock as the jury of seven women and five men returned their verdicts - only briefly hanging and shaking his head.

Judge Michael Crosbie earlier outlined the allegations against him.

The defence attempted to dismiss the victims' evidence as unreliable, vague, inconsistent and illogical.

However, the Crown argued that the victims were doing their best to recall traumatic events committed in their formative years.

Many of Kannewischer's victims were in the court to hear the verdicts being read.

Judge Crosbie paid tribute to their testimony.

"The did so very bravely and with a real sense of the solemnity of the occasion," he said.

Kannewischer has been remanded in custody to be sentenced no later than 19 December.