The Dominion Post

Gloriavale centre of abuse inquiry

- Joanne Carroll joanne.carroll@stuff.co.nz

The father of girl abused by a Gloriavale teacher says those making new assault claims at the Christian community need to be removed for their protection.

Police arrived en masse at the isolated West Coast farm yesterday as part of an inquiry into new allegation­s of child sexual abuse. Four plain police cars, along with three government cars, and a police truck arrived at the site near Greymouth.

They are investigat­ing allegation­s of sexual offending by a teenage male inside the community, involving multiple boys. A complaint was laid to police on Monday on behalf of a young boy.

Police and Oranga Tamariki staff have been at Gloriavale this week and were understood to be interviewi­ng boys.

A former senior member, a community teacher and Gloriavale founder Hopeful Christian have all been convicted of sexual offending.

The teacher, Just Standfast, indecently assaulted the 9-year-old girl, repeatedly kissed her and exposed himself on a bed during a playtime break.

He pleaded guilty in 2019 after another charge of doing an indecent act on a child was withdrawn. He served community detention.

The father of a girl indecently touched by Standfast said he hoped any potential victims and witnesses would be given protection.

The father said he believed witnesses and victims had to be removed. ‘‘They can’t be in Gloriavale until any potential charges go to court because of the threat and pressure that would be put on them living there.’’

 ?? ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF ?? An unmarked police car and a police truck arrive at the Gloriavale Christian Community yesterday.
ALDEN WILLIAMS/STUFF An unmarked police car and a police truck arrive at the Gloriavale Christian Community yesterday.
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