24 Mar 2021

Jury deliberates over sexual abuse charges against ex-carer Earl Opetaia

5:17 pm on 24 March 2021

A jury is now considering whether a former carer of troubled boys sexually abused some of them or not.

Earl William Opetaia in the High Court at Auckland

Photo: RNZ / Jordan Bond

Earl Opetaia faces 26 charges, including sexual violation, threatening to kill and supply of methamphetamine. Seven other charges were dismissed during the trial.

Justice Ian Gault this morning summed up the case which has run over seven weeks.

The Crown case is that six boys suffered the abuse they did at the hands of Opetaia in his Child, Youth and Family home in the early 2000s.

The defence case is that none of the abuse happened at all, and the complainants made it up - perhaps to receive compensation.

The jury must now reach verdicts on each of the 26 charges.