Judge Nevin Dawson found Sajan Singh, an Indian-origin Sikh priest guilty on six counts of sexual conduct with a child at Auckland District Court by on Thursday.
The father of a child sexually abused by a Sikh priest has praised his daughter for speaking out, saying the girl “saved other kids” from facing the same ordeal.
The two victims were aged eight and 12 years old when Singh lured them, separately, into quiet rooms within a West Auckland gurdwara and groped their bottoms. The assaults happened in 2017.
The child’s parents informed the police after she told her mother about the encounters. It is then that they discovered that theirs was not the only child who had been assaulted by Mr Singh.
The older girl’s father said, “It’s been two years of battle, but it restores my faith in the justice system to know this man will be punished.”
His daughter, who was born in New Zealand and is now aged 13, has refused to enter Sikh temples since speaking out against Singh. Her parents said they felt sad about that – but after her ordeal, they respected her decision and had switched temples.
The children attended classes at gurdwaras to learn about Sikh culture, the Punjabi language, and traditional music.