Anthony Kenneth Turner
From the Southland Times 23rd August 2006
A former senior firefighter and former president of the Southland Fire Museum Society has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in the museum's upstairs office. An ashen-faced Anthony (Tony) Kenneth Turner, 56, was yesterday found guilty of performing an indecent act on and with a boy he picked up as he drove home from his shift at Kingswell Fire Station last year. Judge Kevin Phillips remanded the unemployed firefighter on bail but warned him to expect a jail sentence when he returned to the Invercargill District Court for sentencing on September 20.
There was no doubt that sex acts had happened and that Turner could only escape criminal responsibility if he proved he did not know how old the boy was after taking reasonable steps to find out, Judge Phillips said. At trial last month, Turner admitted he did not ask the boy's age when he picked him up in Tramway Rd on December 29. Instead, Turner misjudged his appearance and believed him when he said he was a seventh former and a busy prostitute who had been with 18 clients that day. Turner told the court he invited the boy into the car and took him to the fire museum. In an upstairs office there, sex acts took place.
The boy went to the police station straight afterwards to complain Turner had followed him, "scared" him into getting into the car and then taken him to the museum where he was sexually assaulted. Turner said the boy had waved him down, that he had not threatened him and that the contact had ended with a consensual encounter. Judge Phillips said he did not find the boy "entirely credible". But he determined that Turner made the trip from south Invercargill to the museum specifically for a sexual encounter. "The accused did not ... take reasonable steps to find out whether the complainant was of, or over, the age of 16 years."
Date of Birth
Sexual assault on a 14 year old Invercargill boy in December 2005
Was on bail
Convicted August 2006, sentence to be updated
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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