Former All Black on trial charged with sexually abusing his daughter

An ex-All Black is currently on trial for allegedly abusing his daughter sexually in the 1990s.

The All Blacks’ 1978 visit of the UK included Robert Kururangi, then 66, who met his future wife in Northern Ireland. He is player number 786 on the All Blacks website.

Following their return to New Zealand, the couple was hitched two years later. They later gave birth to two kids.

Crown prosecutor ‘Aminiasi Kefu said some of Kururangi’s sexual assault occurred while the family was residing in Ardmore, Papakura, and it continued after his marriage ended in his opening statement to jurors on Tuesday at the Manukau District Court.

Kururangi is accused of sexually abusing and indecently assaulting his daughter Emma-Jayne Kururangi when she was between the ages of five and eight.

Kururangi contests his guilt.

Emma-Jayne Kururangi’s name suppression has been revoked. Name suppression is typically granted to complainants in sexual assault cases.

Emma-Jayne would testify in court, according to Kefu, that when her father entered her bedroom at night, she could frequently smell cannabis and alcohol on his breath. Then, according to Kefu, Kururangi would assault his daughter in her bed.

According to the prosecutor, the mother of Emma-Jayne and Kururangi divorced in September 1991. Kururangi moved in with a friend in Karaka after leaving the family home.

Kefu claimed that occasionally, Emma-Jayne and her brother would spend the weekend with their father. He claimed Emma-Jayne would testify in court that Kururangi insisted on drying her off and touching her after she took a shower.

He claimed that throughout the ensuing years, the wrongdoing was exposed.

According to Kefu, Emma-Jayne’s mother started to worry about her around 1991. Her daughter was making sexy drawings, wetting the bed, and having trouble falling asleep.

Emma-Jayne allegedly told her mother that her father had been “touching her in bad places” while she was in the shower, according to the man.

The following year, Emma-Jayne saw a psychotherapist and at first recalled Kururangi touching her, subsequently denying that it had happened.

When Emma-Jayne’s mother relocated to Northern Ireland with the kids in 1993, according to Kefu, Emma-Jayne was interviewed by a social worker who overheard her mention Kururangi instructing her to remove her clothes so she could get a tan while strolling around the home naked.

She then revealed to her brother that Kururangi had made her sleep naked in his bed when she was only 11 years old. Kefu claimed that she also told a family friend about additional mistreatment.

She formally complained to the police in 2020.

“The outcome of this case will depend on whether you accept Emma-Jayne’s testimony and whether you believe that she was truthful while providing you with credible evidence.

The Crown claims that the only verdict in this case is guilty on all counts since Emma-Jayne provided trustworthy evidence you can trust.

The defense attorney, Annabel Maxwell-Scott, urged the jury to be impartial.

She encouraged the jury to be “extremely careful” in her brief opening remarks, saying it was difficult to remain emotion-free in cases involving accusations of child sexual assault.

She claimed that the claims first came to light after a marriage broke up. She claimed a psychologist had looked into some of the claims at the time and found “nothing untoward had occurred.”

The jury would have to determine whether Emma-Jayne is “making things up” or has false recollections, according to Maxwell-Scott.

“I can’t answer that, it’s not my job,” Maxwell-Scott said.

The trial, before Judge Karen Grau and a jury, has been set down for two weeks.



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