A Far North teacher who admitted 49 charges of sexual offending against boys under 16 says he isn't a monster and that his crimes were committed against children he cared about.
James Parker, 37, who was the deputy principal of Kaitaia's Pamapuria School when he was arrested last month, read a statement to a packed public gallery at Kaitaia District Court on Wednesday. Name suppression had been lifted.
"Those of you who know me well will know that I am not the monster that many will portray me to be," the New Zealand Herald reported him as saying.
"I am, however, the unwilling host of a most terrible disorder."
He pleaded guilty to all 49 charges, which related to an unspecified number of adolescent boys.
Parker also spoke of his shame, guilt, regret and sorrow.
"Believe it or not, these crimes were committed against people I care about very much. I wish I could fix the damage I have caused."
Some in the public gallery wept as he read the statement.
A police investigation into his offending began in early July and Parker was arrested on July 13.
The Ministry of Education has confirmed that the school's board of trustees has resigned and Commissioner Larry Forbes has been appointed to the school.
Fiona Knight is now the acting principal of Pamapuria School while principal Stephen Hovell is on leave.
A ministry spokeswoman confirmed to NZ Newswire that Parker had no previous convictions.
A trauma team has been brought in to support the school and wider community.
A statement from police says investigations into Parker's crimes are continuing.
Parker is due to reappear in court on November 15.
Pamapuria School, about 10km south of Kaitaia, has a roll of about 180.
Should mental health patients be allowed to smoke?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.