A person who prosecutors say was sexually assaulted at a Labour Party summer camp told the courtroom today he was posing in photos in front of a “Let’s do this” campaign banner when he felt a hand down his pants.
A 21-year-old man who has name suppression has pleaded not guilty to five charges of indecent assault that are alleged to have taken place on February 11, in Waihi this year.
It’s the second day of his trial at the Auckland District Court.
The defendant is accused of having put his hand down the pants of two young men.
Another woman alleges he kissed and licked her neck up to her face, while a second woman was allegedly groped.
The first male complainant appeared before the court yesterday, with the second testifying today.
He was 16 years old at the time of the camp and said it was an “excellent event” for a young political party member.
However, he labelled the alcohol consumption on the night of February 11 as “excessive”.
He said people weren’t “drinking for enjoyment, but drinking with the goal of getting absolutely hammered”.
“Certainly as a 16-year-old going to a camp, I didn’t suspect there’d be alcohol there with minors,” he said.
The young man, now 17 years old, told the court he didn’t drink any alcohol at the event and had signed a document at the start of the camp to say he wouldn’t.
In videos taken by the complainant on the night, shown to the court, Toto’s Africa and Dancing Queen by Abba can be heard blaring with the defendant seen dancing on a table with no shirt on.
One video had the caption: "The Labour Party is cooler and likes alcohol more than you think."
The 17-year-old told the court that at this point in the night, he was having a good time.
It was later in the night, as a group of camp attendees posed for photos, that he alleges he was assaulted.
The group was standing in front of a banner with Labour’s 2017 campaign slogan, he said.
“The defendant was behind me and his arm came around and reached down into my pants,” the complainant told the court.
“I think it would have been two or three seconds they were inside… over the top of my underwear.”
He told the court he pushed the accused away, but a short time after, the man did it again.
The complainant confessed he didn’t think it wasn’t serious.
“I remember laughing about it at the time. I just felt like… both instances were extremely bizarre,” he told the court.
"I'd be the first to admit that this type of incident is low-scale offending.”
He told the court the defendant did later apologise.
The young man will be cross-examined tomorrow, with the trial expected to last the week.