Guilty on indecency charges

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 12:34 20/03/2014

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Prominent Hawke's Bay businessman Rodney Green has been found guilty of two charges of indecently assaulting an employee in the front of his Hummer limousine.

Green, 65, owns the Bluewater Hotel in Ahuriri and two limousines associated with the business. 

Name suppression ended when the jury reached its verdicts at midday today.

The man faced five charges of indecently assaulting an employee in her 30s, and one of indecently assaulting another employee in her 50s.

He was found guilty of touching the younger woman's breast and trying to kiss her while she drove the Hummer from a charity boxing event at the Pettigrew-Green arena in Taradale on January 28, 2012.

He was found not guilty on the other four charges.

The jury on a trial that began in Napier District Court on Monday retired shortly after 1pm yesterday and was sent home at 6.15pm.

It resumed deliberations at 9am today.

The younger woman alleged the man touched her bottom, grabbed her breast, tried to kiss her, put his hand between her legs, and that he grabbed her hand while he performed an indecent act.

The older woman claimed he put his head in her lap and left it there for ten seconds.

Green yesterday continued to deny the events described by the younger woman.

"There was no sexual attack from me at all in the [vehicle]".

He said he could be obnoxious when drunk, but he was not obnoxious on the evening in question. He was being "an absolute fool," he said.

When Crown lawyer Clayton Walker asked Green he had any explanation for bruises to the younger woman's breast and arm, he said he didn't and "all I know is they were not done by me".

"I do not recall at anytime having any physical contact with her at all."

Walker asked Green about comments he had made to the older woman on previous occasions."

Did you think propositioning her for sex in the way she said you did was appropriate behaviour?" Walker asked.

The man said that kind of "banter" was harmless and common and the woman "gave me as good as I gave her".

He said on the night he was "being a silly, clowning around person" and could not explain why he acted the way he did.

Asked why he left his head in the woman's lap, Green said "I did not see that I did anything that would offend or upset [the woman]," he said.

In his closing address Walker said Green's "moral compass might be such that he considers crude talk and that type of behaviour to be acceptable, but that does not mean he didn't know it was indecent".

Of the more serious charges Walker said "the simple reality is that one of them has lied through their teeth".

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He acknowledged that the younger woman may not have been accurate in all her recollections but said she had been truthful.

Green's lawyer Paul Mabey QC said the fact the woman had been innacurate in some instances meant the jury should treat all her evidence with caution.

He told the jury the woman's evidence was "incredible to the point that you as the 12 judges cannot rely on it to the point of being sure of guilt".

Green, a former butcher, built a successful business out of Napier Discount Meats and Medallion bacon and smallgoods, before entering the hospitality industry.

Through sponsorhip arrangements he is associated with the Pettigrew-Green arena in Taradale and the Rodney Green Centennial Event Centre at Napier's McLean Park.

Green was remanded on bail and will be sentenced in May.

- The Dominion Post

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