Gloriavale man’s alleged sex crimes detailed in court

Gloriavale man’s alleged sex crimes detailed in court

Niva Chittock | RNZ |

Warning: This story contains details that may distress some readers.

A woman who accused a man of raping her at Gloriavale was told there was no way she would ever marry and was written off as a “whore” and a “slut”, a Greymouth court has heard.

Jonathan Benjamin, 58, is on trial for 20 charges – including four of rape – during his time at the Christian community between 1986 and 2017. The charges also included indecent assault and sexual violation.

Crown lawyer Kerry White said some of the complainants were aged between six and 14 when they say they were attacked.

“The defendant began touching her under her clothes while she lay in the bed – her thighs, between her legs, inside her underwear and feeling her genital area,” she said in her opening statements.

Some of the offending was alleged to have happened around other people, and in one case Benjamin’s family, White said.

“On this occasion, however, he also put his hand under the blanket, pulled her dress up and touched her genital area. His wife and children were there and she did not want to make a fuss in front of them, as it would have embarrassed them all.”

Another described Benjamin hugging her from behind and touching her breasts in a kitchen at age 11.

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