Rugby coach on trial says sex offences 'never happened'

6:17 pm on 1 October 2018

A former boys' rugby coach and teacher aide has entered the witness box to deny more than 100 charges of sexual offending.

Alosio Taimo on trial in the Auckland High Court.

Alosio Taimo on trial at the High Court in Auckland. Photo: RNZ / Edward Gay

Alosio Taimo is on trial at the High Court in Auckland, where he has pleaded not guilty to 106 charges against 18 boys, over 29 years.

Mr Taimo has begun giving evidence in his own defence.

He said in 1986 he had been studying at Teachers' Training College in Samoa before moving to New Zealand.

Months after his arrival, the Crown says he began sexually offending against a boy. Today Mr Taimo's lawyer Tua Saseve asked him this.

Mr Taimo responded: "That never happened."

He was asked about another incident that the Crown said involved him sexually offending against the son of a friend.

"That never happened because I never slept at their house, at any time."

Mr Taimo will give further evidence tomorrow before he is cross-examined by the Crown prosecutor Jasper Rhodes.

Earlier the court heard of details of an explicit close-up photo of a young teenager performing a sex act on an adult male found on Mr Taimo's mobile phone.

The image was not shown to the jury but lawyers for the Crown and Mr Taimo have agreed on what it shows.

Justice Moore told the jury: "I have ruled that that photograph itself is not to be produced. It's a very graphic photograph, as you might imagine. The description of that photograph, in the agreed statement of facts, covers the matters that I have determined are important and relevant to the issues in this trial."

The identity of the boy, under 16 years of age at the time, has been agreed but cannot be reported.

Detective Mark Jamieson was the last of the Crown witnesses. He said the phone was seized from Mr Taimo on his arrest in August 2016 but the image had been deleted. It was only found by members of the police digital forensics crime lab.

He said police tried to speak to the boy in the photo and his family on a number of occasions but they did not engage with investigators.

The case, before Justice Moore and a jury, is now in its seventh week.

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