Parole Board postpones hearing on sex offender – former school principal

A former school principal imprisoned in 2010 for more than eight years for sexually abusing students could be released as early as August.

Elvis Dobson Shepherd, 52, was found guilty on two counts of sexual violation by oral sexual connection and two counts of indecent assault while he was teaching and living at Hato Petera College, a Maori Catholic boarding school on Auckland’s North Shore, in the early 1990s.

At the time of his sentencing in 2010, Shepherd was principal of Feilding’s Hato Paora College and was promoted to the position despite warnings from Hato Petera.

He was also charged with sexual abuse against Hato Paora students, but two separate juries could not reach verdicts in relation to some of the charges while he was found not guilty of others.

When sentenced Shepherd’s continued lack of remorse and denial of the proven charges was noted.

In a parole decision released to The Dominion Post,  the board noted there were still “question marks” over Shepherd’s insight into his offending.

“For example, the psychologist referred to his limited empathy for the welfare of the victims and an overemphasis on meeting his own needs, which were said to have been likely to have precipitated the offending.”

A psychological assessment report put Shepherd’s overall risk at medium low, with reference made to a lack of capacity for relationship stability, and deviant sexual preferences.

But a comprehensive proposal put forward by Shepherd and his whanau, which involved him completing the SAFE Programme for sexual offenders while in the community had merit, it said.

However, the address put forward for Shepherd to reside at had not been put to probation for consideration so could not be considered.

The Parole Board postponed its hearing until August 1 so Shepherd’s whanau could organise a hui with probation, the SAFE network and other interested parties so discussion could take place about the release proposal and his acceptance of the offending.

Source:

Parole Board highlights abuser ‘question marks’

The Dominion Post. Tuesday May 21, 2013, p. A4. Story by Shane Cowlishaw

Online version

Fairfax NZ News

Earlier stories:

Jail for sex-abusing ex-Principal. By Bronwyn Torrie.  16/09/2010

Former Hato Paora principal Elvis Dobson Shepherd has been imprisoned for more than eight years for sexually abusing students at an Auckland school, yet he is still proclaiming his innocence.

The 49-year-old’s continued lack of remorse and denial of the proven charges was noted by Justice Robert Dobson in the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday.

Earlier this year, a jury found Shepherd guilty on two counts of sexual violation by oral sexual connection and two counts of indecent assault…

Justice Dobson said while Shepherd still denied the victims’ version of events, he accepted the essence of their evidence.

“I have to hold you accountable for the harm you have done to your victims and to the community.”…

The 49-year-old was sentenced to eight years and four months’ imprisonment in the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday for sexually abusing two teenage boys in the early 1990s.

His offending occurred while he was a teacher and dorm master at Hato Petera.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4135298/Jail-for-sex-abusing-ex-principal

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