Businessman faces indecent assault charges

Bevan Hurley – 

A prominent businessman has been charged with indecently assaulting two female employees.

The man, 71, is alleged to have inappropriately touched two women, a married sales executive and a single mother, while he was shareholder and director of a media company.

Police said on Monday (September 26, 2016) that a man had been charged with two counts of indecent assault.

The man denied any knowledge of the allegations when approached at the weekend.

He referred media inquiries to his lawyer Aaron Kashyap.

Kashyap confirmed he was representing the man in relation to the charges, but declined to comment further.

Vulnerable situation

Both women allege the grandfather, promised to help them with their careers if they “come close to him.”

In an interview with Stuff, one woman broke down into tears as she described how the man had allegedly encouraged her to enter into a relationship with him.

“He abused our trust and took advantage of us when we were in a very vulnerable situation,” said the woman.

The women arrived in New Zealand on student visas, before gaining working visas and finding employment at the media company.

One of the women had their work visa sponsored through the company.

They say they looked at the man as a father figure, and he would refer to them as his daughters.

The man has since quit his position at the company.

The complaints relate to two incidents that occurred in 2015.

The women allege he got them to get into his car under false presence, and the alleged assaults occurred while they were driving around greater Auckland.

Appeal to Human Rights

Last month, after gaining residency, the women laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. The HRC refused to comment, but the women said the matter was referred to police.

On Tuesday afternoon, police issued a statement to say a 71-year-old man had been charged.

At press time (on September 29, 2016), he was due to appear in the Auckland District Court.

The above story appeared in the Stuff Website on September 26, 2016 and has been reproduced here with the approval of the publication.

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