Two charges dropped in Labour camp assault case

The young man accused of indecently assaulting four people at a Labour Party camp earlier this year has appeared in the Auckland District Court. File photo/Stuff.

A 20-year-old man accused of sexual assaults at a Labour Party summer camp has had two charges against him withdrawn. 

The man was arrested in June and appeared in the Auckland District Court where he originally pleaded not guilty to six charges of indecent assault relating to four complainants. 

The arrest came after allegations a man sexually assaulted four teenagers, aged 16 to 18 years old, during the Waihi camp in February. 

On Wednesday, the man had two of the indecent assault charges withdrawn in front of Judge David Sharp. He is now facing four charges of indecent assault in total.

Judge Sharp also set down a trial date for March 18, 2019. 

At the defendant's first appearance, his lawyer Emma Priest sought interim name suppression, which was granted, and Judge Russell Collins continued that suppression at another appearance through until the end of trial or further resolution.

On Wednesday, Priest said she was frustrated with the police's prosecution and said there were a number of witnesses who would be called during the trial.

"There was no principal reason why this was withdrawn at the 11th hour, significant time and taxpayers money has been spent on this," Priest said. 

The allegations were made public in March, which led to a police investigation, and a review of the party's internal processes and policies. 

In a statement in August, Labour Party President Nigel Haworth said a report commissioned after the Waitawheta Camp near Waihi in February had made a number of recommendations which would all be adopted.

The review included putting new parental consent and alcohol policies in place at future Young Labour events.

Labour has apologised for its handling of the matter.

 - Stuff/Catrin Owen


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