Ambulance officer facing sex charges

MARTY SHARPE
Last updated 17:00 12/12/2013

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Hawke's Bay

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An ambulance officer accused of sexually offending against four women while on the job can now be named.

The Dominion Post can reveal Christopher Roger King, 47, a St John Ambulance officer of Waipukurau, faces seven charges.

These include allegedly stupefying, indecently assaulting, sexually violating and making an intimate visual recording of one of his victims in Waipawa on July 24.

One of the complainants was aged under 16 at the time of the alleged offending.

King had name suppression since first appearing in Hastings District Court on four charges in late August.

Since then he has been charged with sexually violating two other women and indecently assaulting another.

The alleged offending occurred in January, 2010, March 2012 and June 2013.

Name suppression was lifted at 5pm today. In Napier District Court this morning King’s lawyer Bill Calver said he would not apply for an extension of name suppression.

King denied the charges and they will be defended, Mr Calver said.

St John Hawke’s Bay district operations manager Stephen Smith said King was isolated from patient contact as soon as the organisation became aware police were investigating. King had subsequently resigned, he said.

‘‘We are appalled and deeply concerned about these serious allegations. We do not tolerate behaviour of the type alleged," Mr Smith said.

"Ambulance officers are committed to caring for others and value the trust of the communities they support. St John is saddened that the alleged actions of an individual have cast a shadow on the integrity of these dedicated, trusted professionals," he said.

Mr Smith said the safety and welfare of patients and quality of our care "is of paramount importance to St John and we are working closely with Police in their investigations".

"Anyone who has concerns about their previous dealings with this former ambulance officer should contact the Police officer in charge of the case, Detective Grant Jarvis of the Hawke’s Bay Police Child Protection Team".

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Greig said there could be more alleged victims - and he asked them to contact police.

"We appreciate how difficult it can be for victims to approach police in these circumstances, but we can assure anyone who comes forward that they will be treated with the utmost respect and sensitivity,’’ Mr Greig said.

King was remanded on bail and will appear again in February for a case review hearing.

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