Rape-accused should keep name secret due to Blenheim's 'small jury pool' - lawyer

A Marlborough man has denied 13 sexual offences including two counts of rape.
The man in his 70s, who cannot be named, has denied raping a girl aged under 16, raping a woman, two counts of indecently assaulting a woman, two counts of indecent assault on a girl aged under 12, two counts of unlawful sexual connection, and five counts of sexual connection with a young person.

The man entered not guilty pleas at the Blenheim District Court on Monday, and will instead have a trial in front of a jury on a date yet to be set.

Lawyer John Holdaway sought interim name suppression for his client, saying to publish his name would risk the complainants being identified on social media, and it could prejudice a jury. "We have a small jury pool in this town."

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Police did not oppose the application for interim suppression.

Judge Jo Rielly granted the interim order but said it would need to be formally submitted on in writing for the case review hearing if suppression was to be extended beyond that date.

The man had new bail conditions including the surrender of any passports, not to apply for any travel documents, and not to enter any international airports. He was also banned from contacting the complainants.

Judge Rielly remanded him on bail to a case review hearing on May 31.


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