A new petition to the Governor General is to seek a full pardon for Peter Ellis, the gay man found guilty of child sexual abuse despite major public doubts about the evidence and handling of the case.
Ellis was found guilty of sexual abuse of children at the Christchurch Civic Creche in the early 1990s based on opinions of child psychologists and statements given by children which included bizarre claims of forced night time excursions across the building’s rooftops, children imprisoned in metal cages hanging from the creche’s ceilings and extreme physical torture for which there was no physical or behavioural evidence. There were even claims that fellow children had been killed.
The new petition stems from new Otago University research which indicates that the original questioning of the children was below a legally acceptable standard, according to reports by the Otago Daily Times and Radio New Zealand.
Dunedin-based researcher and author Lynley Hood, who published a book about the case titled A City Possessed, casting extreme doubt on the case and verdict, says more recent interviewing is of a much higher standard and that Ellis is believed innocent by the majority of New Zealanders.
A past petition was supported by National party heavyweights but failed to get any traction with then-Justice minister Phil Goff.
Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By GayNZ.com Daily News sta