17 Aug 2015

Pastor accused of molesting girls

7:12 pm on 17 August 2015

A Hutt Valley pastor has gone on trial accused of molesting two young girls.

Jone Conikeli, 42, is being tried in the Wellington District Court on seven charges, including assault with intent to commit sexual violation and indecent assault.

Crown Prosecutor Ian Murray said in his opening address Jone Conikeli exploited opportunities which arose to attack the girls.

He said one was touched when Mr Conikeli joined in a handball game.

Mr Murray said the defendant went further with the other girl, trying to have her perform oral sex on him.

But defence lawyer Chris Nicholls said his client maintained none of the offending occurred and the girls colluded when they were away together in the school holidays to make up a story.

A jury of six men and six women has been chosen to hear the case, which is expected to run until Thursday.