Former Child Youth and Family worker accused of abusing 17 named

Earl Opetaia, seen here in an image from 2006, has been named as the former Child, Youth and Family worker accused of abusing 17 boys. [Image credit: NZ Herald]

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Defense attorneys have allowed the December High Court judgment ending the name suppression of their client to go into effect after they failed to appeal the decision.

 

Earl Opetaia has been revealed to be the former Child Youth and Family worker that is facing 43 charges related to the physical and sexual abuse of 17 boys.

 

According to the Crown, 14 of the victims reported being victims of sexual abuse over several weeks or months, while others reported physical abuse at Opetaia's hands while he was an employee of CYFS, now known as Oranga Tamariki.

 

The Crown has also alleged that Opetaia threatened to kill other boys while supplying some with narcotics.

 

Investigators state that his offenses date to the mid-2000s and are hopeful that the release of his name prior to trial will provide ample time for other victims to come forward.

 

Opetaia was first charged in December 2018.  His trial is scheduled to begin in April in the High Court at Auckland.

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