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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, September 30) - The first complainant to give evidence in the Pitcairn Island sex abuse trials says she was raped four times by the island’s mayor, Steve Christian.

Mr. Christian, 53, is a descendant of Fletcher Christian, who fled to Pitcairn after the famed mutiny on the British exploration ship HMS Bounty. He has pleaded not guilty to six charges of rape and four of indecent assault of four women from 1964 to 1975.

Seven men face 55 charges, including 14 counts of rape, 37 of indecent assault and two of gross indecency.

The alleged victims have been giving evidence for the trial in the New Zealand city of Auckland via a video link.

One of the alleged victims broke down several times as she testified. She told the Pitcairn Supreme Court she was raped by Christian in the 1960s when she was 12 years old.

The woman says she was held down by other boys.

The prosecution has told the court Christian was the "leader of the pack" on the island and was callous towards his victims.

Six other men are yet to be extradited to Pitcairn on 41 more charges.

Pitcairn is the last British territory in the Pacific and has a population of just 47 permanent residents.

September 30, 2004

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra


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