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Victims sought in Kaitaia case

Police seek potential victims who stayed in Kaitaia accommodation

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 - 3:28pm

Northland

Police want to locate further potential victims following the appearance in Kaitaia District Court this afternoon of a 56-year-old local man on 39 charges including:

• Aggravated Wounding (drugging of a victim to facilitate an indecent assault)
• Making of intimate visual recordings
• Possession of intimate visual recordings
• Indecent Assault

These charges relate to 16 adult male victims who stayed at the Main Street Lodge in Kaitaia. They are mostly overseas tourists aged between 18 and 25.

Michael Harris has been remanded in custody to appear in the Kaitaia District Court on September 18.

Many of the victims are believed to have stayed temporarily in the main dwelling (the owner's residence) at the lodge over the past two and a half years.

The business offers backpacking facilities, hotel units and, on occasion, longer term accommodation in the owner's residence.

Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston says Police are at the very early stages of the inquiry:

"It is very important for us to speak to anybody who has stayed in the owner's residence over the last two and a half years.

"These victims are unlikely to know that something has happened to them, although they may have suspicions. We will deal sensitively with them and offer all appropriate support required.

"This is an ongoing investigation and we have a lot of work ahead to assess evidence and establish if there are further victims we are not yet aware of.

We have set up a 0800 number and an email address so that potential victims can get in touch with us"

0800 SNAP01 or 0800 762 701

operationsnap@police.govt.nz


ends

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