New Zealand teacher sent to prison for sexually abusing students

A retired teacher at a Roman Catholic school for indigenous Maori boys was sent to prison Thursday for sexually abusing students in his care nearly 30 years ago. John Louis Stevenson, 66, was imprisoned for 3-1/2 years for sexually assaulting four boys aged between 14 and 16 at a Maori boys high school between 1976 and 1981.

Stevenson earlier pleaded guilty in Wellington District Court to six charges of indecent assault and one of inducing an indecent act. The offenses carry prison terms of up to 10 years.

"He has done exactly what was done to him. It begs the question as to whether this would have occurred if he hadn't been abused," he told Judge John Walker. Walker said the accused was abused when he was aged 11 and later when he was training to become a Catholic brother. "It may be that the offending against you contributed to your offending," he told Stevenson. "On the other hand these events should have shown you the deep affect abuse can have."

The repetitive assaults against three of the four boy victims were a gross abuse of trust, he said. Another former employee of the Hato Paora Catholic Maori high school, 67-year-old Andrew Cody, was sent to prison for 2-1/2 years in August for sexually abusing school boys, reports the AP. I.L.

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