Kiwi comics tarred by sex case secrecy

Entertainer accused of abusing girl, 4

A New Zealand comedian accused of sexually abusing a four-year-old girl has won the right to keep his name out of the papers.

The suppression order means suspicion has been cast over all comics, as the media have been referring to the accused only as a ‘well-known TV entertainer’.

One stand-up whose name had been bandied about in relation to the case was reportedly asked to sign a waiver confirming it wasn’t him before a client would employ him.

It is understood the alleged incident happened when the man left a media Christmas party. He is said to have told police he was drunk and that the alleged incident was a mistake.

He appeared at Auckland District Court last week to face a charge of unlawful sexual connection against a child under 12, and will reappear on January 5.

Name suppression is typical in the early stage of such cases under New Zealand law. However, that has only led to fevered – and libelous – speculation on internet boards. One comic said: ‘It puts us all in a bad light.’

However, Michelle A Court of the New Zealand Comedy Guild told the Sunday News: ‘Being charged with the sexual abuse of a child is as appalling as it comes.

‘I am really convinced that if his name becomes public, everyone will go, “Really? I wouldn't call him a comedian”.’

Published: 20 Dec 2009

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