PITCAIRN SEX ABUSE CHARGES DATE BACK 40 YEARS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 12) - The Deputy Governor
of Pitcairn Island says he is pleased a judicial process is underway to consider
allegations of sexual offences within the tiny community.

Nine men are facing a total of 64 charges including rape and
indecent assault, with some of the alleged offences dating back 40 years.

The deputy governor, Matthew Forbes, says the charges are very
serious and must be dealt with by the courts.

He says there has been much speculation about the effect on the
community, and officials are working hard to ensure a secure future for
Pitcairn.

Details about the complaints were originally suppressed, but
released following a hearing on the island this week.

The next hearing will be in Auckland in about three weeks.

April 14, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com.

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