Man kissed homestay student

A 65-year-old Hamilton man who admitted fondling and kissing a foreign exchange student who was staying at his house has been described as a man of good character by his wife and church.

The man, who cannot be named because it would identify his victim, yesterday stood impassively in the Hamilton District Court as Judge Glen Marshall detailed the impact his offending had on his 17-year-old victim.

The man had admitted a charge of committing an indecent act on a dependent family member.

Judge Marshall said the teen was left confused and ashamed by the defendant's actions.

The court was told the man and his wife had offered their house for homestay care for the past 25 years, to children as young as 6.

In October last year, when the man's wife was away, the defendant grabbed his victim, kissing her and grabbing her breasts through her clothing. The distressed teen fled the house.

Defence counsel Mark Sturm said the man's offending represented "an inexplicable lapse of judgment".

His client had no previous convictions and was a man of good character. His pastor and his wife continued to support him.

The man had pleaded guilty at an early stage and had written a letter of apology to his victim.

Judge Marshall said the defendant's "moment of madness" would have lasting consequences.

In imposing a sentence of five months' community detention and 12 months' supervision, he said that if the offending had involved skin-to-skin contact he would have jailed the defendant. Fairfax NZ

Taranaki Daily News