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Sex was consensual, says restaurant owner

Wed 22 Oct 2003 In: New Zealand Daily News

Bar and restaurant owner Philip David Sturm has pleaded guilty to eight charges of supplying speed or ecstasy, but not guilty to twelve charges of sexual violation and stupefying with intent, saying in his defence that the sex was consensual. The Crown told a High Court jury in Auckland that Sturm had used drugs, his business success, and his “strong and charismatic personality” to persuade young men to be alone with him. One 21-year-old man who took the stand yesterday told the court that a glass of wine he was given by Sturm at Coast Bar, one of Sturm's establishments, left him feeling “very blurryish”. The man said this was the third occasion on which he had met 48-year-old “Phil”, and on this occasion he had thought they were going to a dance party at the St James that Sturm could get them into. He can only remember snippets of what followed, as he was drifting in and out of consciousness after leaving the bar with Sturm in his Porsche and being taken to his inner-city offices, where more drugs and alcohol were consumed before they had sex. The next morning he took a line of speed offered him by Sturm and was taken home. When he asked Sturm what happened to the dance party, he was told he fell asleep. After discussing the events with a friend, the man contacted police the following day. Three further male complainants are yet to give evidence. All deny consenting to sex with Sturm. Sturm denies drugging any of the men surreptitiously, but admits to taking drugs with them, and to having consensual sex. The trial, continuing today, is expected to last at least three weeks.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 22nd October 2003 - 12:00pm

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