A survivor of one of the country's worst child sex offenders hopes all of the young people who were abused can heal.
Alosio Taimo's offending spanned nearly 30 years, with the youngest of the victims being just nine-years-old at the time.
A jury in the High Court at Auckland yesterday returned guilty verdicts for 95 of the 106 charges brought against the former rugby coach, teacher aide and McDonald's manager.
"He was picking them, you know, at an age where they're still naive and they're still old enough to listen to what he has to say about not telling people," the survivor told RNZ.
This man was just 12-years-old when he went to stay at Taimo's house, along with two other boys.
All three of them would suffer abuse at Taimo's hand, and its effects were devastating.
"One of them was really struggling at the time. He tried to commit suicide five times."
The man said he was completely shocked when he read in a newspaper that Taimo had been accused of abusing many more children than those he was aware of.
"The headline [said] that he could be one of the worst in New Zealand history. I just sat down, I was going 'Ah, man. About damn time," he said.
He decided to come forward and testify against Taimo, which meant re-living a truly traumatic experience.
"When I first spoke about it with a police officer, that was the first time that I've actually spoken in detail about the actual events," he said.
The man wanted to speak publicly about what happened to try and help other survivors of sexual abuse.
He said they mustn't let what happened to them control their lives.
"The hardest challenge in life is always going to be the fight within yourself."
When the verdicts came in yesterday, the man immediately contacted another of Taimo's victims.
"I said, 'How you doing, man?' And he started crying on the phone. He goes, 'Ah, I'm so happy today - time to celebrate everything good. I've waited a long time for this to come around.
"I said, 'I'm stoked for you, man'. But I'm also stoked for, especially the young kids. You know, I really hope that they find a normal life."
Taimo sexually abused 17 boys over nearly three decades - at his house, in his car and in school sports sheds.
He also abused them at McDonald's, where he worked as a manager, and at some of the youngsters' homes.
Speaking after the verdicts were delivered yesterday, Crown prosecutor Jasper Rhodes said he hoped the outcome brought some closure for the people Taimo abused.
"I don't think anyone can feel happy about this sort of thing. It's not a win or anything like that," he said.
Male Survivors Aotearoa chairman Phillip Chapman applauded those who spoke up against Taimo.
He said the sexual abuse of children was far more prevalent in this country than most people realised.
"One in six men were abused in this country. You know, it's staggering the amount of abuse that goes on; in schools, in sports clubs, from family friends."
Taimo will be sentenced on 14 December.
Where to get help:
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Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357
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