Pitcairn magistrate denies sex charges

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The Independent Online

When young girls on Pitcairn Island were raped and molested, they had no one to tell, for it was the men in authority who were their alleged assailants. Yesterday it was the turn of Jay Warren, a former magistrate, to follow the mayor, Steve Christian, into the dock in the continuing multiple child sex abuse case on the South Pacific island.

Mr Warren, 48, was charged with indecently assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Bounty Bay. Pitcairn Supreme Court heard that the former magistrate, who later served as the remote British dependency's magistrate for a decade in the 1990s, groped the girl in the early 1980s as she was body-surfing in the bay with friends after school. He denies the charge.

Asked by Paul Dacre, the public defender, why she did not tell anyone about the alleged assault, the woman, now 33, said: "On Pitcairn I don't recall talking about anything personal to anyone in the whole time I lived there." She said she could remember the incident clearly, as well as "many more that happened before that age".

The same girl was one of four alleged victims of Terry Young, 45, who also went on trial yesterday, charged with one rape and seven indecent assaults spanning nearly 20 years. She told the court she was 10 when Mr Young groped her as she emerged from the female lavatories at the island's school.

Young has admitted accosting her and also told police that he molested another local girl when she was 13 or 14, while she was riding with him on his quad bike. Another 10-year-old was allegedly assaulted by Mr Young during a children's game of tag at a communal dinner at an islander's house. He admitted that the incident happened, but claimed it was accidental.