22 Feb 2019

Auckland school rugby coach Alosio Taimo jailed for 22 years for historical sex abuse

3:53 pm on 22 February 2019

Alosio Taimo, the Auckland rugby coach found guilty of 95 sex charges, has been sentenced to 22 years imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

Alosio Taimo on trial in the Auckland High Court.

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

Families of the men abused by Taimo packed the court room to hear the sentence, and deliver emotional victim impact statements.

They described Taimo as a trusted member of the community whose actions had a devastating impact on their lives and the lives of their families.

They told the court how they had suffered with drug and alcohol while two parents said they felt like they had failed their sons.

One mother said, "I have never hated someone so much, as much as I hate you."

"Wishing you dead is wrong, because death is a quick way out. You had my baby, a boy, who trusted you and respected you but your evil ways won his loyalty and love," she said.

One man said, "I stand here before the courts not as a victim but as a survivor," he said.

"For many years I have been a prisoner in my own mind, thinking I was classified as damaged goods."

They were praised by Justice Simon Moore for coming forward to police and how they had conducted themselves throughout the whole proceedings.

He echoed the Crown Prosecutor's words, who had described the victims as, "Strong, proud, clever people who will overcome."

The Crown had asked the court for preventive detention for Taimo - Justice Moore said that would not be necessary.

Taimo was not ostracised from him community and would never be trusted by them again, he said.

He said Taimo would never find victims in another community because he would be placed permenatly on the child sex offenders register.

In October, Taimo was found guilty of 95 of the 106 charges against him for sexually abusing boys.

The jury returned with their verdicts after 17 hours of deliberations.

The 56-year-old was originally charged with offending against one boy in August 2016.

The boy's aunt had overheard him telling his cousins that Taimo was gay and that he knew this because Taimo had touched him.

She went to police who investigated and identified more complainants.

The number of complainants grew again after Taimo's name suppression was lifted and his identity published in the media.

The 106 charges laid by the Crown spanned nearly 30 years, with the youngest complainant just nine years old at the time of the offending.

During the nine-week trial, Crown prosecutor Jasper Rhodes argued Taimo sexually abused boys at his job at McDonald's where he worked as a manager, at a school where he later worked as a teacher aide and in his own home and car, amongst others.

As well as hearing evidence given by complainants, the jury were shown a photograph of a boy sitting topless on Taimo's bed, stored in his cellphone called 'family and forever'.

The jury were also told about, but not shown, an explicit close-up photo of a young teenager performing a sex act on a man - also found on Mr Taimo's cellphone.

The face of the male can't be seen but the Crown told the jury they could infer it was Taimo - based on the fact the photo was on his phone, and that fabric seen in it was similar to distinctive bedding seen in police photographs of his home.

Taimo's defence was that each of the complainants had lied.

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