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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 15) – Pitcairn islanders have reportedly elected a former defendant in the island’s recent rape trials as the island’s new mayor.

According to The Associated Press, Jay Warren was elected mayor, replacing former mayor Steven Christian, who was convicted of five rapes and other sexual abuse of children on the small island over a period of decades. Christian, who claims to be a direct descendant of Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian, was convicted of five rapes and sentenced to three years in prison.

Warren, among seven Pitcairn men charged with sexual abuse of children, was the only defendant acquitted during his November trial. He defeated acting mayor Brenda Christian, the sister of former mayor Steve Christian - who was sacked from his post by British authorities when convicted of multiple underage sex crimes in October, AP reports.

An experienced officeholder, Jay Warren was chairman of the island council for nine years in the 1990s.

Warren’s son, Randy, who was chairman of a key island committee, was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of four rapes and other sex assaults. He was also fired from his post.

Meanwhile, five new council members were elected, all are related to the men who stood trial.

December 16, 2004

Radio New Zealand International:

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