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Ex-NZAF counsellor admits indecent assault

Wed 19 Mar 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Silipa Take Former New Zealand AIDS Foundation counsellor Silipa Take has pleaded guilty to indecent assault. It means he will now go straight to sentencing, rather than face a planned April trial on charges of indecent assault of a man or boy over the age of 16. The charges, laid in October 2012, arise from claims which first surfaced in 2009 when he worked as a counsellor for the Foundation in its Awhina Centre in Wellington. When the allegations first surfaced Take was asked by the NZAF to resign and he did so. However, it has emerged that the NZAF management at the time did not attempt to contact any of Take's other clients to ascertain if the alleged problem was more widespread and to check on their well-being. Current Executive Director, Shaun Robinson, has apologised on behalf of the NZAF for not immediately following up with Take's other clients. Following the guilty plea, he says the Foundation is happy the matter has come to a conclusion. “It will go some way in giving closure to those who took the brave step of laying complaints and seeing the legal process through to its end,” he says. Robinson says the NZAF has continued to offer support and counselling to those affected. “And we once again offer our sincerest apology that the events occurred,” he says. “Since 2009, we have strengthened the code of ethical conduct and professional requirements of our counsellors to ensure all of our clients are safe.”      

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 19th March 2014 - 8:33am

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