NZ Herald story 18th April 2011
A 67-year-old Papamoa man, convicted of indecent assault for fondling women's breasts while they visited his massage and acupuncture clinic, is to spend the next nine months in home detention. Owen Yaemes appeared for sentencing before Judge Thomas Ingram in Tauranga District Court today. He was found guilty in January of three charges of indecent assault against three women who visited his practice, the SunLive website reported. Yaemes claimed to be a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine practising in acupuncture and massage from his home clinic. Judge Ingram said those people he treated, estimated by Yaemes' defence to number at least 2000, would not have known he was operating without qualifications or affiliation to other organisations.
"The public should know there are people out there who are completely unqualified in this industry," the judge said. Yaemes had indecently assaulted two women in 2006 and another in April last year. The court was told the women went to him for therapeutic help but while treating them, he used the pretext of adjusting their bra straps to fondle areas of their breasts. One of the women read out her victim impact statement in court while Yaemes sat in the dock. She began crying as she explained the indecent assault had caused her to lose trust in men. "I do not have the confidence to seek help from males. I do not like being around males," she said. "You know, people came to you to seek guidance and help but you stripped that from me and other women."
Yaemes' lawyer, David Bates, told the court his client's position had not changed and he believed he had not done anything improper. Mr Bates also told the court that since his client had been found guilty, he had been forced to serve a voluntary sentence because of the publicity surrounding the case. "He has only left the house to go to the GP or doctor. He's lost weight. Not eating or sleeping," Mr Bates said. Judge Ingram acknowledged that Yaemes' health was deteriorating. "You are in bad health. You are a shadow of the man who appeared before me some time ago," Judge Ingram told Yaemes. Judge Ingram said home detention was a practicable option and Yaemes was an ideal candidate for that, especially given the state of his health.
Details of prior offending from The New Zealand Paedophile and Sex Offender Index, New 2004 Edition
"The victims met Yaemes because he held himself out as a healer using natural Chinese methods to cure illnesses"
Owen John Poole
Date of Birth
Indecent assault of a Tauranga woman in April 2010, plus indecent assault of two other in 2006
Rape (x2), unlawful sexual connection (x3), indecent assault (x2), all involving three Auckland girls aged between 6 and 11 and also one 18 year old woman, over four years in the early 1990's
At large in Papamoa beach, Tauranga
Sentenced to 7 years 6 months in October 1995
This was upheld on appeal in February 1996
Sentenced to 9 months home detention in April 2011
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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