School principal found guilty of sexually abusing boys

July 31st, 2010 - 5:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Auckland, July 31 (IANS) A former principal of a Catholic boarding school in New Zealand has been found guilty of sexually abusing teenage boys.
Elvis Dobson Shepherd, now 49, was involved in sexual activity with two teenage boys while he was teaching at the Hato Petera College, a Maori Catholic boarding school in the early 1990s, a court heard Friday.

The jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for five hours in the high court at Palmerston North, 390 km from Auckland, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Shepherd was suspended as principal of the Hato Paora College after his arrest in November 2007.

Shepherd had been a student at the school before returning to teach a Maori dialect with an experimental unit in 1989.

The first sexual encounter occurred in March 1990 after an annual gala, when Shepherd allegedly offered a drunk 16-year-old boy a bed for the night. While the boy was sleeping, Shepherd began performing oral sex on the boy.

In 1994, Shepherd had another sexual encounter with a 17-year-old boy who had gone to see him for help with the Maori dialect class.

The victims came forward 10 years after the events, the court heard.

Justice Robert Dobson remanded Shepherd in custody for sentence in September.

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