Jonathan Matthew Tremain
Sentenced to 6 years with a 4 year minimum non-parole period in December 2004
Eligible for possible release December 2008
NZ Herald story here
Herald on Sunday article 31st October 2004
The Salvation Army has been rocked by revelations that one of its youth workers was sexually abusing boys in his Bible studies group. Cabin crew trainer, Jonathan Tremain, 22, will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to 13 charges of sexually abusing four boys, aged between 8 and 13. Tremain befriended the boys through the Salvation Army's Westgate church in Henderson. He was a volunteer youth worker. The charges related to several incidents in January 2001 where Tremain performed sexual acts on the boys and forced them to perform sexual acts on him.
One of the victims spoken to by the Herald on Sunday said he didn't care about who knew what happened so long as "Jonathan goes to jail and can't hurt anyone else". Tremain's case has sparked major divisions in the church with some congregation members fronting publicly at Tremain's last court appearance this month to support him while others sat with the families of his victims. The mother of two of Tremain's victims explained the split within the church as a "Biblical thing". "You hate what the person's done but you don't hate the person," she said. But the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, added: "If I had a gun he'd be pushing up daisies."
Her husband was equally outraged. "There is one Salvation Army person who deals with court stuff who we expected to see there, but there were others we were quite disgusted with for being there and supporting him," he said. The couple said the church and Salvation Army community were so tight that Tremain's offending had not just affected "four boys and their families, but 50-odd people". Several generations of Tremain's family have connections with the Salvation Army. His parents, Bruce and Marilyn, are currently army officers in charge of the Salvation Army Addington Men's Social Centre. They declined to comment.
The national body of the Salvation Army is also refusing to be drawn on the case, saying only that it will continue to meet the needs of all parties. The Westgate church split in two at the start of 2002. The leaders at the time, Brian and Margaret Spicer, now run the Westgate Christian Centre from the Royal Rd Primary School while the rest of the congregation use the church which Tremain was associated with. Mr Spicer said the split had nothing to do with Tremain. "Everyone I have spoken to in the army are supportive of both sides because they saw what happened and whilst they acknowledge that justice needs to be done they accept Jonathan for who he is."
Tremain was charged in August after his victims approached a Westgate church pastor with their stories following discussions about the week's news _ the Catholic Church covering up sex abuse. The parents of two of the victims were shocked by the revelations and said they had no idea Tremain was capable of hurting their children. "He had a good job, was well dressed, had a nice car and an incredible singing voice ... and because some of the kids he saw had no fathers or brothers he was held up as a good example of what to strive for. In no way did he fit the profile," they said. Tremain has been remanded on bail to re-appear in the Waitakere District Court for sentencing on November 25.
Date of Birth
Sexual violation of four West Auckland boys aged 8-13 from January 2001 to January 2002
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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